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THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 



EDITED BY 

E. CAPPS, PH.D. LL.D. T. E. PAGE, litt.d. 
W. H. D. ROUSE, LITT.D. 



SAINT BASIL 

THE LETTERS 






SAINT BASIL 

Arcir>rjy. o 

THE LETTERS 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY 
ROY J. DEFERRARI, Ph.D. 

OF THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OK AMERICA 



IN FOUR VOLUMES 

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LONDON : WILLIAM HEINEMANN 
NEW YORK : G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 

MCMXXVI 



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Printed in Great Britain 



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FOREWORD 

The Letters of St. Basil fittingly continue tlie series 
of Patristic writings in the Loeb Classical Library 
which has already })ublished some of the works of 
Clement of Alexandrici, St. Augustine and the 
Apostolic Fathers. Apart from their historical 
significance, these Letters are interesting as expres- 
sions of a striking personality. There is so much 
in the man himself and so rich a variety in his 
experience^ that even in an age remarkable for men 
of force and character he is an outstanding figure. 
Withdrawn for a time from contact with worldly 
affairs, he is again in the very midst of them as 
bishop and theologian. With a viligant eye to the 
spiritual needs of his own diocese, he is none the 
less deeply concerned for the preservation of the 
Faith against the attack, open or insidious, of 
Arianism. Here and there in the Letters he gives 
us descriptions that are exquisite. Occasionally, in 
extolling the beauty of Christian virtue, he becomes 
eloquent. And when duty compels him to upbraid 
those in high places, episcopal or imperial, he is 
outspoken and fearless. 

But the kindly human element in Basil appears 
at its best when he pours out his heart in sympathy 
for the sorrowing or in reproof, severe yet merciful, 
administered to the wayward and fallen. When 
writing to such as these, he is the father who grieves 



FOREWORD 

no less than the judge who condemns or the bishop 
who uses his authority to maintain the discipline of 
the Church. 

The salient features of his style are the frequent 
citation of the Scriptures and the use^ at every page, 
of illustration. The former attests not only his 
familiarity with the sacred text, but also his habit of 
meditating upon it and his grasp of the meaning. 
The latter is what one would expect from a native 
of Cappadocia whose education in Athens had 
enriched with culture his inherited wealth of 
imagination. And it is interesting to note how 
many of the figurative expressions used by St. Basil 
are lauded to-day in their English form as brilliant 
results of original picturesque thinking. 

While the translation of those among the Letters 
which treat of ordinary topics offers no unusual 
difficulty, the task of rendering certain theological 
statements into suitable English equivalents is a 
delicate one. There are technical terms which 
caused long and bitter polemics among the learned 
participants in the Trinitarian controversy. No 
marvel, then, that after sixteen centuries they 
should exercise the wit of a modern translator. 
Dr. Deferrari's success in dealing with them gives 
his translation a smoothness which the reader will 
appreciate but which implies no sacrifice of meaning 
to the demands of style. 

Right Reverend Monsignor Edward A. Pace. 

Prqfefisor of Pldlosophy and Vice-Recior of 
C.U.A. ; S.T.B., Froimganda^ Rome, 
1883 ; S.T.D., Propaganda, Rome, 1886 ; 
Ph.D., Leipzig, 1891; LID., Univ. of 
Notre Dame, 1910. 

vi 



PREFATOllY NOTE 

The Benedictine edition of St. Basil was pub- 
lished in Paris during the years 1721-1730. For 
the letters of the Saint the chief concern of the 
editors was the establishing an accurate chronology. 
For the text they were content, after the manner of 
the time, to construct something that was readable. 
Of even the few manuscripts at their disposal 
they often admitted inaccurate readings. Time has 
correspondingly appraised the distribution of their 
labours. The most searching criticism has improved 
but little their chronology.^ The numbers assigned 
to the letters by the Benedictines are to-day the 
accepted mode of reference. The deficiencies of 
their text, however, have become evident in the 
new collation of their manuscripts. 

Several years ago Professor Paul van den Yen of 
the University of Louvain and the writer planned a 
critical text of St. Basil's correspondence, intending 
to use the earlier results of their work in a new 
recension for the Loeb Classical Library. The 
disorders of the world war and subsequent adjust- 
ments checked the full realization of even their 
minor purpose, but the following manuscripts already 
had been collated : Parisinus 506 (A), Parisinus 
763 S (B), Parisinus 967 (C), Parisinus 1021 S (D), 
Parisinus Coislinianus 237 (E), and Parisinus 1020 S 

1 StrongW attacked by Ernst, it was successfully defended 
by Loofs. Cf. Bibliography. 



PREFATORY NOTE 

(F). Of these, four had been used by the Bene- 
dictine editors^, Dom Garnier and Dom Maran, under 
the following names, Regius 2293 (Regius primus) = 
Parisinus 506 ; Coisliniaims 288 (Coislin. secundus) = 
Parisinus 1021 S; Coislinianus 237 (Coislin. primus) 
= Parisinus Coislin. 237 ; and Harlaeanus = Pari- 
sinus 1020 S. Meanwhile the Abbe Bessieres ^ was 
making a study of all the important manuscripts of 
St. Basil's correspondence. The results of his work 
appeared posthumously in the Journal of Theological 
Studies and have been reprinted recently by the 
Oxford University Press. ^ It is a pleasure to 
mention here the concordance between the textual 
conclusions reached by the writer and those based 
on the more comprehensive studies of the Abbe. 

From the Abbe's stemma of manuscripts it will be 
noticed that those collated by the writer represent 
each of the two great branches. It will also be 
noticed that the first and most important family of 
all, Family Aa, is represented neither in his collation 
nor in that of the Benedictines. On the basis of 
the manuscripts read, however, he has been able to 
revise the Benedictine text for the Loeb Classical 
Library approximately as planned by Professor van 
den Ven and himself. At the same time he realizes 
that the definitive critical edition will differ some- 
what irom the one here offered, based, as it must 
be, on the largest and most important manuscript 
family. All important variant readings are noticed 
in the foot-notes. Where, in several places only, 
readings are taken from the Benedictine edition, the 

' A French priest who died from hardships imposed by 
the late war. 

^ Cf. Bibliograpli}'. 
viii 



PREFATORY NOTE 

Benedictine sigla are used. Elsewhere the writer's 
own sigla appear as noted above. 

It need scarcely be added that no attem})t has 
been made to revise the chronology of Garnier and 
Maran. Whenever a letter has been shown by 
later investigators to have been misplaced by the 
Benedictines, the fact is merely stated in a foot- 
note. Tillemont's life of St. Basil, which antedated 
by a generation the Benedictine edition, and there- 
fore employed an earlier numbering of the letters, is 
so important a work for students of St. Basil that 
this earlier numbering is given in the Introduction 
in a list parallel to the St. Maur chronology. In 
translating St. Basil's quotations from the Bible, the 
Douay version has been followed as closely as the 
Saint's own quotations permit. This has at times 
involved great difficulty. 

The writer is greatly indebted to the Princeton 
University Library and its former head. Dr. E. C. 
Richardson, for the purchase of the photographic 
copies of the manuscripts studied. He is deeply in 
debt to the Rev. J. Benjamin Tennally, S.S., D.D., 
Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the Sulpician 
Seminary at the Catholic University of America, 
both for the quality of the help given him on 
theological questions and for the generous spirit 
in which it was given. Without his corrections 
the writer would not have })resumed to offer the 
translation of Letters VIII and XXXVIII to the 
public. To J. Marshall Campbell, Ph.D., and to 
Leo V. Jacks, Ph.D., and to all others who have in 
any way assisted in the preparation of this work, the 
translator is profoundly grateful. 

Lrookland, D.C., U.S.A. Rov J. Deferuaki. 

ix 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

FOREWORD V 

PREFATORY NOTE vii 

INTRODUCTION — 

I. LIFE OF ST. BASIL XV 

L EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION .... XV 

2. BASIL AND MONASTICISM XXi 

3. THE PRIESTHOOD Xxiv 

4. BASIL AND ARIANISM XXV 

5. BASIL AS ARCHBISHOP XXXii 

II. SOME IMPORTANT WORKS OF ST. BASIL . . XXXV 

III. ST. basil's LETTERS XXXvi 

IV. TABLE OF DATES XXXix 

V. BIBLIOGRAPHY xli 

1. MANUSCRIPTS XH 

2. EDITIONS xlii 

3. TRANSLATIONS OF THE LETTERS . . . xHii 

4. MISCELLANEOUS WORKS ON ST. BASIL . . xliii 
VI. THE LETTERS OF ST. BASIL ARRANGED IN 

PARALLEL COLUMNS ACCORDING TO THE 
BENEDICTINE AND THE OLDER NUMBERING . xlvi 
VII. THE LETTERS OF ST. BASIL ARRANGED IN 
PARALLEL COLUMNS ACCORDING TO THE 
OLDER AND THE BENEDICTINE NUMBERING . I 

LETTER 

I. TO EUSTATHIUS, THE PHILOSOPHER .... 3 

II. BASIL TO GREGORY 7 

III. TO CANDIDIANUS 25 

IV. TO OLYMPIUS 29 

xi 



CONTENTS 

LETTER PAGE 

V. TO XECTARIUS, IN CONSOLATION 33 

VI. TO THE WIFE OF NECTARIUS, IN CONSOLATION 39 

VII. TO GHEGORY, MY COMIIADE 45 

VIII. AN APOLOGY TO THE CAESARIANS FOR HIS 

WITHDRAWAL, AND A TREATISE ON FAITH . 47 

IX. TO MAXIMUS, THE PHILOSOPHF.R 93 

X. TO A WIDOW 101 

XI. WITHOUT ADDRESS ; FOR FRIENDSHIP'S SAKE . 103 

XII. TO OLYMPirS 105 

XIII. TO OLYMPICS 105 

XIV. TO GREGORY, A FRIEND 107 

XV. TO ARCADIIJS, IMPERIAL TREASURER . . . 113 

XVI. AGAINST EUNOMIUS, THE HERETIC .... 115 

XVII. TO ORIGEN 117 

X^'III. TO MACARIUS AND JOHN 119 

XIX. TO GREGORY, A FRIEND 121 

XX. TO THE SOPHIST LEONTIUS 123 

XXI. TO THE SOPHIST LEONTIUS 127 

XXII. AVITHOUT ADDRESS ; ON THE PERFECTION OF 

THE MONASTIC LIFE 129 

XXIII. AN ADMONITION TO A MONK 141 

XXIV. TO ATHANASIUS, FATHER OF ATHANASIUS, 

BISHOP OF ANCYRA 145 

XXV. TO ATHANASIUS, BISHOP OF ANCYRA . . . 149 
XXVI. TO CAESARIUS, THE BROTHER OF GREGORY . 155 
XXVII. TO EUSEBIUS, BISHOP OF SAMOSATA . . . 157 
XXVIII. TO THE CHURCH OF NEOCAESAREA. CON- 
SOLATORY 159 

XXIX. TO THE CHUftCH AT ANCYRA. CONSOLATORY . 171 

XXX. TO EUSEBIUS, BISHOP OF SAMOSATA . . . 175 

XXXI. TO EUSEBIUS, BISHOP OF SAMOSATA . . . 177 

XXXII. TO SOPHRONIUS, THE MASTER 179 

xii 



CONTENTS 

LETTER PAGE 

XXXIII. TO ABURGIUS 185 

XXXIV. TO EUSEBIUS, BISHOP OF SAMO.SATA ... 187 

XXXV. WITHOUT ADDRESS, IN BEHALF OF LEONTIUS 189 

XXXVI. WITHOUT ADDRESS, ASKING ASSISTANCE . . 191 
XXXVII. WITHOUT ADDRESS, IN BEHALF OF A FOSTEIl 

BROTHER 193 

XXXVIII. TO GREGORY HIS BROTHER ; ON THE DIFFER- 
ENCE BETWEEN SUBSTANCE AND PERSON . 197 

XXXIX. JULIAN TO BASIL 227 

XL. JULIAN TO BASIL 231 

XLI. BASIL TO JULIAN, A REPLY TO THE PRECEDING 235 

XLII. TO CHILO, HIS PUPIL 241 

XLIII. ADMONITION TO THE YOUNG 265 

XLIV. TO A FALLEN MONK 267 

XLV. TO A FALLEN MONK 275 

XLVI. TO A FALLEN VIRGIN 283 

XLVII. TO FRIEND GREGORY oil 

XLVIII. TO EUSEBIUS, BISHOP OF SAMOSATA . . . 315 

XLIX. TO BISHOP ARCADIUS 317 

L. TO BISHOP INNOCENTIUS 319 

LI. TO BISHOP BOSPORIUS 321 

LII. TO THE CANONICAE 327 

LUX. TO THE CHOREPISCOPI 337 

LIV. TO THE CHOREPISCOPI 343 

LV. TO PAREGORIUS, THE PRESBYTER .... 347 

LVI. TO PERGAMIUS 351 

LVII. TO MELETIUS, BISHOP OF ANTIOCH . . . 355 

LVIII. TO GREGORY, HIS BROTHER 357 

INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 363 



INTRODUCTION 

I. Life of St. Basil ^ 

1. Early Life and Education - 

In the decade of the Council of Nicea and at 
Caesarea of Cappadocia was l)orn^ the Church's most 
effective instrument, after St. Athanasius, in the 
final victory over Arianism. From both his parents 
Basil drew gentle and Christian blood. His maternal 
•grandfather, a great landholder, had died a martyr. 
His paternal grandmother, St. Macrina, was a faith- 
ful disciple of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus. The only 

^ The sources are : the -works of .St. Basil, especially his 
letters (Migne, Fatrolocjla Graeai, XXIX.-XXXII. ) ; the works 
of 8t. Gregor}' of Xazianzus, particularlv the long funeral 
oration (Migne, P.O. XXXV.-XXXVIL)"; the works of St. 
Gregory of Nj^ssa, especiallv the eulogv on his sister, Macrina 
(Migne, F.G. XLIV.-XLVI.) ; an encomium on St. Basil by 
the .Syrian poet, St. Ephraem (Cotelier, Monuuienta Ecclesiae 
Graecae, III ) ; a chapter (116) in St. Jerome's De Viris 
Illustrihus. References of uncertain value can also be found 
in Philostorgius (///.s', Eccl. VII. 11-13 ; Migne, P.G. LXV.) ; 
inTheodoret [lli$t. Eccl. IV. 19; Migne. P.(?. LXXXIV.) ; 
in Rufinus {HlsLEcd. II. 9; Migne, P.L. XXL); in Socrates 
{Hist. Eccl. IV. -26 ; Migne, P.G. LXVII.) ; in .Sozomen {Hist. 
Ercl. VI. 1.5 ; Migne, P.G. LXVII.). 

' The exigences of book-making have forced me to compress 
tliis sketch to a bare outline of Basil's crowded career. 

^ The year of his birth is assigned variously from 320 to 
331. 

XV 



INTRODUCTION 

record we have of her husband represents him an 
unbending victim of the last persecutions. These 
traditions of steadfast piety were united in the 
marriage of Basil and Emmelia, the parents of our 
Saint. The father had a great name in the Pontus and 
in Cappadocia for his lands, his legal attainments, his 
professorship of rhetoric, and for a rectitude of life 
unspoilt by his triple prosperity. Emmelia's worth 
is attested by the eminence of her children. She 
was the mother of three bishops, a nun, and a monk. 
Three of her children were canonized. 

Of this remarkable family Basil was the second 
child, a sickly child, it seems, even as he was always 
a sickly man,^ given out to nurse soon after birth 
with a peasant family of the Pontic countryside. ^ 
And in the Pontus rather than in Caesarea his 
earliest days were spent, tutored in the ways of 
piety by the saintly Macrina and by Emmelia, taught 
his letters by a father who could add a parent's 
solicitude to the practised skill of a teaching career, 
associated with brothers and sisters equally favoured 
in their formative years. In a household that was 
affluent and cultured and minutely Christian thus 
grew up a family remarkable for refined sanctity 
even in the long annals of the Church. 

The singular advantages of this early time were 
given the Saint throughout his student days. His 
native Caesarea,^ the literary as well as the civil 
capital of Central Asia Minor, first attracted him, and 
in her locally famous lecture-halls he began to study 

^ Cf. St. Gregory of Nyssa, In Laivdem Fralris Basilii. 
« Cf. Letters XXXVI., XXXVII. 

^ Tillemont prefers Caesarea in Palestine, chiefly because 
of the greater celebrity of its schools. 



INTRODUCTION 

rhetoric and philosophy. He then proceeded to 
Constantinople, to whose schools the talent of the 
world was turning, to be near to Caesar's court. 
Socrates ^ and Sozomen ^ tell us of a sojourn also at 
Antioch and under the great Libanius, but neither 
with Antiocli nor Libanius can St. Basil's studies be 
linked satisfactorily. The bishop mentioned by the 
chroniclers may very well have been the bishop- 
orator of Seleucia. Libanius, indeed, was at Con- 
stantinople in 347 and our Saint could have arrived 
there thus early, according to a closely packed chron- 
ology, and could have sat under the Great Master, 
but the attractive hypothesis of their association 
even at Constantinople is still only an hypothesis.^ In 
351, at all events, Basil left Constantinople and, 
following the fashion of those who could afford further 
studies, took up his residence at Athens. 

Of all this time of preparation and of the scant 
notices we have of it there is no phase over which 
the imagination would more willingly linger than 
over Basil's years at Athens, the city of unsurpassed 
memories and still the first university town of the 
world. Rome and Constantinople had centred in 
themselves the wealth and influence of empire, but 
neither had succeeded in dislodging the city of 
Pallas Athene from that authority in the republic of 
letters which a literarv and teachino; tradition eight 
centuries old and the zeal of the Second So})histic 
had given her. There are no modern parallels to 
explain that pre-eminence. To appreciate what 
Athens meant to fourth-century students would 

1 Historia, IV. 26. - Historia, \l. 17. 

' The correspondence which has come down to us under 
their names is of doubtful authenticity. 

h xvii 



INTRODUCTION 

require a sympathy for the Attic ideal as extra- 
vagant and uncritical as that which obtained in 
Basil's time, and the opportunity of actually living in 
this dream-city of fourth-century enthusiasm while 
the landmarks of her literary glories were still intact 
and the paganism that had produced these glories 
was still flourishing. The temples and statues and 
olive groves, the theatre, the spoken language, the 
atmosphere even — all that could best sustain a 
bygone culture against the changes of time — most 
closely approximated their ancient circumstance at 
Athens. And thus she was the pattern of excellence 
to a world that elected to see in Atticism the cultural 
ideal. An Athenian sojourn gave to professor and 
student a diploma of prestige not elsewhere to be 
equalled, and thus this last stronghold of the gods, 
in magnificent defiance of a world become Christian, 
still gathered under her Acropolis the talents of the 
earth. 

Christian and pagan contacts are as fascinating a 
study as the ancient world affords, and the mind 
would linger here among these eager Christians and 
pagans come from all parts of the empire, even as 
many of its students lingered here on into middle 
life.^ Aided by the sympathetic genius of Cardinal 
Newman and the constructive scholarship of Petit de 
Julleville,^ we could approach with some assurance 
the more intimate facts of Basil's relations with 
Gregory of Nazianzus, with Himerius and Julian the 
Apostate "^ and Prohairesius and Terentius ^ and 

* Cf., e.g.fijvegory of Xazianzus, Poemata de se ipso, XI., 239. 
2 L'P^cole d'Athenes au Quatrieme Siecle, Paris, 1868. 
' Cf. Gregory of Xazianzus, Or. V. 23, 24. 
^ Letter LXIV. 

xviii 



INTRODUCTION 

Sophronius/ did the Saint but give us details. But 
he is strongly reticent here, and in our other first- 
hand witness to the period, St. Gregory of Nazian- 
zus, we must make allowances, even in the few 
notices given, for the liberties of the j^anegyric. We 
must content ourselves with the fact of fourth-century 
Athens and of Basil's sojourn there ; of his dislike of 
university life in its sophomoric pranks and promiscu- 
ous immorality ; of his serious application to grammar, 
poetry, history, rhetoric, dialectics, metaphysics ; 
of his passing attention to astronomy, geometry, 
and medicine. And so passed about five brilliant 
years. - 

Towards the end of 355 or at the beginning of 
356 St. Basil left Athens to prepare more directly 
for the holy career which he had cherished through 
all the triumphs and other distractions of university 
life. During his long absence from the Pontus his 
grandmother and father had died, and he returned 
to find himself the owner of properties scattered 
over three provinces. The newsthat the philosopher 
Eustathius was teaching at Caesarea soon drew him 
from the Pontus, but when he arrived in his native 
city the philosopher was already gone.^ In place of 
a more prolonged student's career he now became a 
teacher himself. His Athenian reputation had 
preceded him into Cappadocia. A chair of rhetoric 
was offered to him at Caesarea and he accepted. 
For two years he followed in his father's footsteps. 

The Asiatic cities of the fourth century reserved 
their choicest tributes for their successful sophists. 

1 Letter CCLXXII. 

* Gregory of Xazianzus, Or. XLIII. 22, 23. 

' Letter I. 

xix 



INTRODUCTION 

St. Basil became one of these. Within those two 
short years he attained to such an eminence that 
Neocaesarea tried to draw him back to the Pontus.^ 
In the unsympathetic atmosphere of pagan Athens, 
Basil had preserved his vocation to religion ; in the 
whirl of flattery and glory that rolled around him in 
Caesarea he came near to losing it. A secular career 
of assured brilliance lay before him. At this crisis his 
sister Macrina intervened, and under her influence the 
ideal of his Athenian days re-awoke. He renounced 
his chair at Caesarea, was baptized and gave himself 
to God.2 

His mother and Macrina, however, now relieved of 
family duties by the coming of age of the youngest 
child, added example to exhortation and made the 
estate of Annesi on the Iris the home of a religious 
colony that soon attracted to its austerities women 
of the first families of Cappadocia. Meanwhile 
Basil was off to Egypt, Palestine, Coele Syria, and 
Mesopotamia to find in those flourishing centres of 
asceticism the details of his ideal. For about two 
years he thus studied the traditions that went back 
to St. Antony. 3 

Tiberina, near the Arianzus of his friend Gregory, 
was Basil's first choice for the scene of his rigours. 
A spot in Ibora, on the Iris and opposite the com- 
munity of his mother and sister, was finally elected. 
To entice the disappointed Gregory to his Pontic 
hermitage, St. Basil sent him a letter that is a 
masterpiece of descriptive prose,* holding out to 
Gregory the attractions of a high mountain carpeted 

1 Letter CCX. 2. Rufinus, Hist, Eccl. II. 9. 
^ St. Gregory of Nyssa, De Vita S. Macrinae. 
» Letter CCXXIII. 2. * Letter XIV. 



INTRODUCTION 

with green forests and clustering wild-flowers, 
peopled with tuneful birds and washed at its base 
by the clear Iris. And above the mere natural 
beautv of the place, in strong contrast to his Caesarea 
days, its aloofness is highly praised. This aloofness 
came not to mean personal isolation, however. Like 
his mother and sister and like the pioneers in the 
desert before them, Basil became a nucleus around 
whom the free-lance ascetics of the Pontus and 
Cappadocia soon gathered, to give to his sylvan 
solitude some of the characteristics of a monastery. 
And here he develops in the practice of those ascetic 
principles which he sets forth so elaborately in his 
letters and in his treatises on the religious life. And 
here at length, amid psalms and hymns and hard 
manual toil and prayers and fasting and Bible-reading 
and daybreak arisings and sunset retirements and 
midnight vigils in tunic and cloak, the ideal of his 
Athenian days is realized. 

2. Basil and Monasticism 

To give even a brief account of St. Basil's 
monasticism in the short space here allotted is out 
of the question, but attention must be called to 
certain of its features. A definite and detailed Rule 
of St. Basil, ^ in the sense in which we use that word 
of St. Benedict's legislation, we do not possess, 
although the materials for a very comprehensive 
reconstruction of it are available in his two collec- 
tions of Rules; in his treatises On the Judgment of 
God, Concerning the Faith, and the Moralia ; in 
valuable references in his Letters ; and, too, in the 

^ That he wrote such a Rule there can be little doubt. 

xxi 



INTRODUCTION 

treatises On Renunciation and On the Ascetic Discipline, 
if they be really his. 

With that thoroughness which characterized his 
student days he pushed beyond the mere living the 
life to consider the whole question of monastic 
theory and practice. '' It will probably surprise 
many persons to be told that the key to St. Basil's 
asceticism is found in his devoted submission to the 
authority of the Holy Scripture. He is so far from 
claiming any right to go beyond Scripture that he 
thinks it necessary to apologize for even using words 
which are not found in the Bible. Those, therefore, 
who would understand him must divest themselves 
in the first place of that vague association of the 
Fathers with extra-Scriptural tradition which exists 
in many minds ; and in the next place of that firm 
persuasion which many good Protestants entertain, 
that nobody ever loved the Bible or understood its 
value before the Reformation."^ 

The experience of centuries has found community 
life, on the whole, the most satisfactory environment 
for fostering that closer union with God which is 
the monastic ideal. The experience of St. Basil's 
forerunners may have pointed to the same con- 
clusion, but the Cenobium was Basil's creation. 
Before him ascetics had lived utterly alone or in 
groups almost completely unorganized. To become 
a monk one had merely to retire to some solitude 
and there serve God as one's own zeal or the example 
of holy men might direct. In time these hermits 
had formed into colonies and the hermit pre-eminent 
for age and sanctity became a kind of guide to the 

1 R. T. Smith, St. Basil the Great, p. 212. 
xxii 



INTRODUCTION 

younger. Thus far had monasticisui proceeded 
when Basil settled down at Annesi. 

He became the founder of organized monasticism. 
He made the colony a society. He gave it a code ; 
the minute division of the day, the time of probation 
for new members, the rule solicitous for every detail 
of life and conduct, even to articles of food and 
clothing. 1 Despite this austerity, however, the 
monastic ideal to St. Basil was social in its implica- 
tion. Hospitality and charity fell within its scope. 
And it ought always to be remembered to St. Basil's 
credit that in that day of untutored zeal, regardless 
of the rigours with which he visited his own body, 
he insisted that true continence is the avoidance 
of all excess, whether of indulgence or abstinence. 
Throughout the East to-day monasticism. Christian 
monasticism, is almost everywhere what St. Basil 
made it.- And in the West, a century and a half 
after Basil's death, St. Benedict urges his monks to 
read '' the rule of our holy Father Basil," telling 
them that it is one of ''• the instruments whereby 
well-living and obedient monks may attain to 
virtue." ^ Such an estimate, coming as it does 
from the founder and first legislator of Western 
monasticism, is an impressive tribute to the efficacy 
of Basil's code. The Saint himself, however, was 
given little leisure to test that efficacy personally. 
In 358 he had gone first to Annesi. In 365 he left 
it for ever. And even in that short period the 
needs of the time called him more than once to the 
world. 

1 Cf. Letter II. 6 ; also Reg. Brev. 136. 

2 Fortesciie, The Orthodox Eastern Church, 354 ff. 

3 Regula LXXXIII. 



INTRODUCTION 



3. The Priesthood 



Basil had spent about a year in his Pontic soHtude 
(358-359) when the first summons came. The 
Arian controversy was at its heiglit. There had 
been a quick succession of local councils and endless 
manoeuvring otherwise. Finally all parties had 
been called to Constantinople by Constantius, and 
Basil, who may have been a deacon by this time, 
attended in some inconspicuous capacity. His 
attitude in the Council we do not know, but in the 
same year he broke with his bishop, Dianius of 
Caesarea, for subscribing to the creed of Ariminum, 
and they remained thus estranged until Dianus' 
reconciliation with the Nicene faith on his death-bed. 

Dianius' successor, Eusebius, was orthodox, but 
possessed not the firmness to guide the Cappadocian 
Church through the storms stirred up by Arian 
aggression and Julian's hostility. Under these 
circumstances Gregory of Nazianzus finally persuaded 
Basil to come to Eusebius at Caesarea. Here he was 
ordained to the priesthood, after many misgivings 
as to his fitness for the priestly office, in 364. He 
plunged into administrative work and was soon the 
most influential figure in the diocese. The very 
vigour of his work was in such strange contrast to 
the feeble measures of Eusebius that unpleasant- 
ness was inevitable. The details that led to their 
estrangement are not known, but Gregory of 
Nazianzus at any rate thought Basil ill-used.^ The 
affair finally reached the stage that the bishops, who 
had objected to the violent nomination of Eusebius 
and only with difficulty had been induced to admit 

1 Or. XLIII. 28 ; Letters XVI. -XVII. 



INTRODUCTION 

the lawfulness of his consecration, were ready to 
consecrate Basil in his stead. Basil, perceiving that 
his elevation to the episcopacy at this time would 
divide the orthodox clergy of Cappadocia, refused 
consecration and retired again to his monastery, 
accompanied by Gregory. 

Encouraged by the thought that in the retirement 
of Basil the Catholics of Cappadocia were now- 
deprived of their strongest champion, the Emperor 
\'alens in 365 threatened to visit Caesarea personally 
in behalf of Arianism. Eusebius in this crisis would 
have been content with Gregory's aid, but the latter 
refused to act without Basil. A reconciliation was 
eitected, largely through the efforts of Gregory, and 
Basil returned to Caesarea ready to co-operate loyally 
with Eusebius. Nothing was done by the Arians, 
however. The Emperor, from the mere knowledge 
of Basil's return, gave up the visit. 

Basil was able to spend the next five years loyally 
upholding Eusebius' authority, and increasing the 
powers of the see. The outstanding event of this 
period was the great drought and famine, which 
Basil describes so eloquently in his homily. On the 
Famine and Drought} The vigour he applied to 
other crises he addressed to this. He sold what 
possessions he had to buy food with the proceeds, 
and made eloquent and successful appeals to the 
rich to follow his example. 

4. Basil and Arianism 

St. Basil's chief concern as a prelate of the Church, 
what in fact contributed chiefiy to his elevation to 

I Migne, P.G. XXXI. 62. 



INTRODUCTION 

the e})iscopacy^ was the heresy known in history as 
Subordinationism. And in those "mournful days 
of boundless controversy/' ^ St. Basil stood out 
among his fellows as the surest guide. After 
Athanasius, it was to Basil that the Church owed 
the restoration of peace. 

Subordinationism struck at the heart of Christianity 
— the Trinity. It made a double assault on this 
dogma. It began with a denial of the co-equality 
of the Son with the Father^ and later impugned the 
divinity of the Holy Spirit. The former is known 
as Arianism and the latter as Macedonianism — each 
taking its name from its chief exponent, Arius and 
Macedonius respectively. The destructiveness of 
their views is immediately evident in the object 
of their attacks, but a brief review of their heresies 
is necessary for an understanding of the correspon- 
dence which they elicited, and for an intelligent 
appreciation of the controversy when Basil entered 
the lists as co worker and then successor of the great 
St. Athanasius. 

The fundamental tenet of Arianism was that the 
Son of God is a creature. He is not a creature like 
other creatures, but a creature nevertheless. Though 
Arius allows the Son the title God, yet he reminds 
us that His divinity must be taken in a moral sense 
only — /x£To;^a).^ He maintained ^ that the Son had 
a beginning, ap^^-qv vTrdp^io)^, rjv ore ovk r}v ; and 
further that the Son was not begotten out of the 
substance of the Father but was made out of 
nothing — i^ ovk ovtcdv iyivcro. 

1 Letter LXIX. 

2 " B3' participation," cf. Athanasius, Oration against the 
Avians, I. 9. ^ Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, I. 5. 



INTRODUCTION 

The First Ecumenical Council, summoned by 
Constantine at Nicaea in Bithynia in a.d. 325, rejected 
this view as heresy, but failed to put an end to the 
controversy. In the Creed drawn up at the Council 
were used two words around which the Subordi- 
nationist controversy was destined to resolve, 
o/xoovcrio? and VTrocrTacris. To the Council ovcri'a 
and {iTTocTTao-is were practically synonyms, meaning 
^'nature," " essence," or '' substance." In the strife 
of the times they gradually drew apart, and St. Basil 
was an important factor in their differentiation. 
After the year 370 he expresses the orthodox 
doctrine of the Trinity in one phrase : fxla ovcria, 
Tpels vTrodTacrw;, ^^ one substance, three persons." 

Tiie career of the word 6fxoov(no<; alone sums up 
almost Arian warfare in the fourth century. As 
often as the word itself was modified and as often 
as it received a new interpretation, a new party 
arose within the Church to divide Christendom. 
'O/xoovcrtos is clearly derived from 6/xos and ova-La, 
and ovcria, once the smoke of battle had drifted 
away, just as clearly signified "substance" when 
employed of God. Accordingly, ojxoovcno^ came to 
mean '^of like substance." Since the substance of 
anything is that which makes it what it is, the 
oro-ta of God is that which makes Him God. If the 
Son, then, is o/xoorcrtos to) ILarpi, He is likewise 
God. But before the Council of Xicaea, o/AootVto? 
was used variously by theologians. To some it 
denoted only a general similarity, as it did to 
Aristotle when he employed it of the stars. What 
became the Nicene interpretation, however, had 
not been unknown to the theologians of the second 
and third centuries. 

xxvii 



INTRODUCTION 

The introduction of this word into the Nicene 
Creed and its adoption as the test of orthodoxy 
came about as follows. There were three parties 
in the Council, according [to St. Athanasius — the 
Arians, the Eusebians under the leadership of 
Eusebius of Xicomedia, and the orthodox party led 
by Athanasius himself. Radical Arianism as pro- 
pounded by Arius was too flagrantly heterodox to 
find many defenders in the Council. Yet there 
were many willing to chose a via media between 
Athanasius and Arius. These joined the Eusebians 
or "intermediate party/' whose heterodoxy was 
subtle enough to deceive many. When the Fathers 
determined on ck rov Oeov as opposed to the i^ ovk 
6vT(i)v of Arius, the Eusebians consulted among them- 
selves and found a special interpretation to cover 
their heterodoxy. Their ambiguities made only for 
more precision, however, for the Council amplified 
its statement to ck r^s ovo-ia? tov Ocov. The Eusebians 
still endeavoured to find a loophole. But when 
their leader submitted a note declaring openly that 
the Son was not " of one substance with the Father," 
heresy furnished from its own scabbard a weapon to 
cut off its own head,^ and 6/>ioov<nos to) Uarpt, " of like 
substance with the Father," was inserted in the 
Creed. The Emperor Constantine exhorted all 
present to subscribe to the Creed, thus elaborated 
by the insertion of o/xoot'crto?, and declared it the 
test of orthodoxy. Eusebius withdrew his opposition 
to the phrase, o/xooro-to? to) UarpL, but refused to 
sanction the excommunication of Arius. Since 
neither would sign, they were banished by an 

* Cf. St. Ambrose, Be Fide, III. 7. 



INTRODUCTION 

emperor who looked upon heresy as tantamount to 
civil rebellion. 

Shortly after the Council of Nicea a reaction set 
in, and a party was formed against the Council. Its 
leader, as might be expected, was Eusebius of 
Nicomedia. This new party Mas made up of the 
old conservatives who thought Nicea had been too 
radical, the remnant of the old radical Arians, and 
many whose sole reason for being included was 
their personal hostility to Athanasius. There were 
some also who were afraid of the Emperor, now 
unfortunately become the patron of the Eusebians. 

The sincerity of Eusebius and his followers from 
this time is seriously open to question. Their zeal 
for doctrinal warfare seems to fall behind their 
hunger for imperial patronage. The success they 
attained in this latter enterprise is seen in the treat- 
ment dealt out, through their machinations, to St. 
Athanasius, who through five exiles and fifty years 
of controversy was the personification of orthodoxy. 
At the synod of Antioch in 341 they shifted their 
attack to the ofxoovcnov itself. In the Creeds drawn 
up by that synod the ofxoova-tov was not actually con- 
demned, since there were orthodox bishops present, 
but mention of it was so scrupulously avoided that 
the precision of the Nicene Creed was nullified. 

Elated by this local victory, the Eusebians laboured 
for a General Council. Sardica was proposed as the 
place of its assembly. Owing to a dispute with 
the orthodox Westerners over the admission of 
Athanasius, the Eusebians withdrew to Philippolis, 
where they reissued their Antiochene Creed with 
its avoidance of the o/xooiViov (343). But there was 
quiet for a time. 

xxix 



INTRODUCTION 

The death of Constans, the patron of the orthodox 
Westj and of Magnetius left Constantius the sole 
ruler of the thus reunited empire of his father. 
From this time his intention of suppressing the 
ojxoovo-Lov became daily more manifest. The Euse- 
bians took advantage of the Arianizing tendencies 
of the Emperor and sought to make their doctrine 
co-extensive ^vith his power. 'Ofxoova-tov was practi- 
cally abandoned. Athanasius was dispatched on 
one of his periodic exiles, and bishops who dared 
to protest received like treatment — among them the 
venerable Hosius. 

The suppression of the o/xoovatov and the violence 
done its defenders put down orthodoxy, but it also 
took the band of union away from the Eusebian 
party. With the o/jloovo-lov interdicted and the 
common enemy banished, the internal divisions 
among the Eusebians became more marked. Within 
their ranks two parties promptly crystallized, and a 
third was to grow out of them. As heretics they all 
agreed that the Son was not of the same substance 
as the Father, o/^ioot'o-io? roi Uarpi, and the question 
arose as to the likeness of the Son to the Father. 
The conservatives, known in history as the Semi- 
arians, maintained that there was some likeness of 
substance, but only a likeness, and substituted for 
the Nicene o/xoowto? the vague o/xotoi'crios, '"^of similar 
substance." Others argued with Aetius and Valens 
for no likeness in substance, dro/xoiog. These last 
Mere called Anomoeans, and in the Second Sirmium 
Creed they rejected ojxoovctlo^ and 6fxoiovcno<; as being 
non-scriptural and a cause of scruples. 

At this point Constantius, desirous of restoring 
universal peace among the Arianizing parties, pro- 



INTRODUCTION 

posed a General Council. The Anomoean party, 
fearing a coalition of the Oriental Semi-arians and 
the orthodox Westerners, suggested a double 
Council — Orientals to meet at Seleucia and the 
Occidentals at Rimini. To expedite matters as 
well as to forestall a direct repudiation of the 
Anomoean doctrine, a new creed called the Fourth 
Sirmium was drawn up at a preliminary meeting. 
The Emperor guaranteed to have it ratified by both 
sections of the Council. This creed made no men- 
tion of ovcTLa and maintained that the Son was like 
{ofxoLo<5) the Father in all things (Kara TravTo). At 
the double meeting of the Council, however, when 
the creed was presented with the mysterious dele- 
tion of Kara Travra, the bishops refused to sign. 
Both sittings despatched deputies to the court, 
and there the protesting delegates were forced to 
subscribe to the o/y.otov creed with its deletion of 
the Kara Traira. The following year, 360, this 
creed received the approbation of the Council of 
Constantinople, and all bishops were ordered to 
subscribe to it under threat of exile. So few refused 
to subscribe that St. Jerome remarks, " The whole 
world groaned in astonishment to find itself Arian " 
(Ingemuit totus orbis et Arianum se esse miratus 
est).i 

However, a new Nicene jiarty was now coming to 
life in Cappadocia. Within the province which both 
Julian and \'alens had found incorrigibly Christian, 
as a whole, equally irresponsive to either pagan 
violence or Arian polemics, was formed the alliance 
that decided the late of Subordinationism. The 

^ Jerome, c. Luciferianos, 19. 

xxxi 



INTRODUCTION 

persecution of the court and the vagueness of the 
ofxoiov party were bound to produce a reaction^ and 
there were men in Cappadocia who saw the inevi- 
table trend through all the smoke of battle. Serious- 
minded Arians of all shades of difference began to 
desert their camps. After the death of Constantius 
there grew up a general movement among Cappa- 
docian heretics towards Rome and orthodoxy. This 
secession of malcontents was the beginning of the 
end. The movement spread to more heretical 
provinces. At length there was only needed a 
union with the Nicenes of Egypt to dominate the 
East. This coalition was the policy of St. Basil, 
now coming to the front of Nicene leaders. 

5. Basil as Archbishop 

In 370 Eusebius of Caesarea died, and the archie- 
piscopal throne became vacant. Basil, however, 
who had borne the brunt of its duties for some years, 
was still alive in the fullness of his power.^ Any 
unbiased observer could see that, of all possible 
candidates for the vacant see, Basil was both the 
ablest and most likely to direct events in the 
interests of orthodoxy. From the interpretation 
one gives to Letter LX. (XXI.) of Gregory 
Nazianzenus, one must form one's opinion of Basil's 
motives in procuring his own election, but consider- 
ing the disinterestedness that motivated his ecclesi- 
astical career as a whole we are bound to believe 
that in this instance too he was acting solely in the 
best interests of the Church. A man led only by 
selfish ambition would not have sought the see of 

1 Greg. Naz., Or. XLIII. 23. 
xxxii 



INTRODUCTION 

Caesarea during the seventh decade of the fourth 
century. 

Basil had long been highly regarded in Cappadocia, 
and, on his election to the archie})isco})acy, though 
op})osed by some of the priests witli Arian tenden- 
cies, he resolutely set about enforcing the decisions 
of Nicea. He was better prepared for such a task 
than anyone available in the East. An ascetic, he 
could control monastic activities ; a leader, he could 
organize the orthodox strength ; a rhetorician, he 
could sway all who heard him ; and a disciple of 
St. Athanasius, he could see the correct position 
with unerring eye. Furthermore, his life was 
blameless, and his friends were everywhere. 

But the Emperor Valens, a confirmed Arian, 
heartily disliked both the Cappadocian clergy for 
their homoousian beliefs and the people for their 
following the clergy. In 371 he staggered Caesarea 
by creating a new province of Cappadocia Secunda, 
with a civil and ecclesiastical centre at Tyana. This 
spelled political ruin for Basil's city, and indirect but 
heavy damage to the Church. Valens was finally 
overawed by the Saint's determination. After one 
weak attempt at forcing Basil into the unorthodox 
creed, the Emperor desisted from further religious 
activities in Cappadocia. 

This point marked the real cessation of court 
influence, and, with nothing further to fear from 
imperial interference, Basil concentrated his energies 
upon retaining the rank and file of Cappadocia 
within strictly orthodox limits. Under his guidance, 
Cappadocia was spiritually united to the Nicenes 
of Egypt, Syria, and the West. Gradually it became 
apparent that heresy was once more opposed by an 
c xxxii 



INTRODUCTION 

unbroken front.^ But even then the task was a 
difficult one, for the dying struggles of the great 
heresy were also its bitterest and most malignant. 

Basil did not live to see Arianism utterly stamped 
out, but an eve as keen as his could not have failed 
to foresee its collapse. Gradually exhausted by his 
ascetic practices and the burdens of his see, Basil 
died on January 1, 379, in the fiftieth year of 
his age. The nine years of his episcopate had been 
stormy beyond measure. But they had witnessed 
practically the complete overthrow of the greatest 
heresy of the early centuries, a final definitive stand 
upon the doctrine of the Trinity, the reunion of 
the scattered orthodox elements in the East, and the 
undoubted preservation of the faith in Cappadocia 
and adjoining countries. 

A short sketch forbids the consideration of his 
other activities : his philanthropies, his ministrations 
as a priest and bishop, his voluminous writings. His 
was a hard and crowded career from his student 
days at Caesarea to the end, and its demands drew 
him into many fields. The width and depth of his 
interests are portrayed for us fortunately in his 
letters. Without these, one may learn much of 
his great achievements, such was his impress on his 
time and its records, but one does not know St. 
Basil. The letters soften that impression of hard- 
ness which the bare recital of strenuous exploit 
gives. Tliey alone bring out in all its fullness that 
compound sternness and humour, kindliness and 
firmness that makes him one of the most attractive 
as he was one of the greatest of the Fathers. 

^ Socrates in the Ecc. Hid. 1 V. 26 dwells at length upon 
Basil's many exertions, 
xxxiv 



I INTRODUCTION 

II. Some Important Works of St. Basil 

1. Dogmatic Writings 

Against Eunomius ( AvaTpcTTTLKOS tov 'AnoXoyriTLKOv 
Tov hva-a€(Sov<; Evi'OfjLLov) ; composed in 363 or 364, 
in tliree books, to which have been added two 
others, which very probably belong to Didymus 
the Blind. 

On the Holy Spirit (Hcpt tov 'Ajlov Xlvtv/xaro?) ; 
written about 375. 

2. Ascetic lV7'itings 

The authenticity of the greater number of these 
works has been more or less impugned. The 
following are the most important and of undoubted 
authenticity : 

Longer Rules for Plonks ( 'Opot Kara TrXaro'?) ; 
55 in number. 

Shorter Rules for Monks ("Opot kut i7nrofxi]v) \ 
313 in number. 

3. Sermons 

Of a collection of sermons which has come down 
to us, the following are the most noteworthy and 
of undoubted authenticity : 

Nine Homilies on the Creation (the Hexaemeron). 

Thirteen Homilies on the Psalms. 

Against Usurers (Kara toki^ovtcuv). 

To Youths, on how they shall best profit by the 
writings of the pagan authors (ITpos tovs vcovs ottojs 
av i$ 'EkXtjvLKUJV dicfieXolvTO Xoywv). 

4. Letters 
The correspondence of St. Basil forms a collection 
of 365 letters (Benedictine edition) and is divided 



INTRODUCTION 

into three classes by the Benedictine editors : 
Class I, the letters written before his episcopate^ 
A.D. 357 to 370 (Letters I. to XLVI.); Class II, 
the letters written during his episcopate, a.d. 370 
to 378 (Letters XLVII. to CCXCI.) ; and Class III, 
the letters which cannot be assigned to any general 
period, and many doubtful and spurious ones 
(Letters CCXCIL-CCCLXV.). 

Of the numerous lost works of Basil were a 
treatise against Manichaeans, and homilies which 
dealt with various parts of the Scriptures. 

III. St. Basil's Letters 

When characterizing the letters of St. Basil, we 
must bear in mind a new and important function 
which letter-writing was performing in the life of 
his time. The letter was the most effective means 
of publicity at one's disposal ; it was performing in 
its circumscribed way the service now furnished by 
the newspaper. The letter had already done such 
duty in the days of the late Republic. Under 
the Empire its possibilities were further exploited.^ 
How could the people of Rome be kept informed 
of the turn of events in the other part of the 
Empire ? And similarly how could a person in one 
of the provinces know about the trend of things at 
Rome ? This was hardly possible in any detail 
except through the letters of their friends. If the 
news they contained was of wide concern, the 
addressee might pass the letter on to people of his 
acquaintance, and thus it could go from person to 

^ Cf. Boissier (trans, by W. G, Hutchison), "Tacitus," 
essay on The Roman Journal, p. 197 ff. 

xxxvi 



INTRODUCTION 

person, and eventually become public property. 
These letters might be addressed to one person or 
to several, and occasionally they were posted in 
some public place. 

It was by the letter as a medium of publicity 
that Athanasius, Basil, Gregory, and others of the 
Fathers braved the persecutions of the Arian 
emperors. These letters addressed to friends or 
congregations were copied and circulated every- 
where by the faithful, in spite of the surveillance 
of heretics and governors, and thus kept united the 
orthodox of the Orient. They visited churches 
isolated amid Arians, they encouraged exiled bishops, 
consoled and sustained congregations left without 
pastors, and everywhere revived the hope of the 
weak and strengthened the courage of the strong, 

St. Basil's letters are of this kind largely, in botli 
effect and intention public documents, meant for 
a church or province and frequently so addressed. 
Letters of a purely private character can be found, 
but neither the addressee nor the opening sentence 
is an unfailing index thereto. More often than not 
these intimate preliminaries are but stepping-stones 
to matters of such wide concern that in the con- 
ventions of the time the letter was destined to wide 
circulation. 

Yet the personal touch is too strong in them to 
allow the inference that St. Basil intended them 
as literature. His sophistic education could not but 
give them such a turn, but, as in the case of his 
sermons and treatises, so here too a literary tradition 
has come into contact with things of life. It is a 
happy coincidence that this is so, but it is only a 
coincidence. If Basil had not gone to Caesarea and 



INTRODUCTION 

Constantinople and Athens, these letters, with far 
less of finish certainly, must still have been written, 
for the needs of the time demanded them. They 
are the response of a St. Paul to the stern realities 
of a crisis rather than the researches of a Pliny the 
Younger stealing an excuse for literary display. 
They have much of the art of Pliny's playthings, 
but they have more of the frank reactions of St. 
Paul to the troubles and delinquencies of his 
spiritual children. 

In classifying epistolary remains it is the fashion 
to divide them according to the purpose of the 
writer. If they were primarily intended as litera- 
ture and are letters only in the form they have 
assumed, they are called "literary." If they are 
letters in fact, called forth by a real occasion, they 
are called "non-literary." Now it is the paradox 
of St. Basil that in the terminology of criticism his 
letters are at once non-literary and yet literature. 
For the Saint they were the instrument of a pro- 
tagonist and administrator and loyal friend, couched 
in the literary grace that was a part of him, but 
meant to serve the occasion only, unrepressed in 
their free outpouring by any thought of a future ; 
and they are therefore non-literary. For the after- 
world they are a precious record of fourth-century 
Asia Minor and an indispensable key to the character 
of their author, cherished for themselves apart from 
their witness ; and they are therefore literature. 
In them we see the artist at his best; in them we 
see the man as he is.^ 

^ St. Gregory of Nazianzus tells us that he made a 
collection of the letters of St. Basil at the request of a 
certain Nicobulus (cf. Letter LIII. ). This ^Tas probably 

xxxviii 



INTRODUCTION 
IV. Table of Dates 

A.D. 

325. Council of Nicea. 

329 or 330. Birth of St. Basil. 

336. Death of Arius. 

337. Death of Coiistaiitine^ and succession 

of Constantius and his brothers, 
Constans and Constantine. 

343 (r.) St. Basil starts from Annesi to attend 

school at Caesarea. 

346 (c.) St. Basil goes to Constantinople. 

350. Death of Constans. 

351. Constantius becomes sole Emperor. St. 

Basil goes to the University at Athens. 
355. Julian goes to Athens. 

356 (c.) St. Basil returns to Caesarea. The 

publication of the Life of St. Antony 
by St. Athanasius. 

357 (c.) St. Basil is baptized and is soon after- 

wards ordained as Reader, 

358 (c.) St. Basil . visits the monks of Egypt, 

Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia, 
and then retires to Pontus. 

an easy task for Gregory because of the ancient custom of 
keeping letter-books. These books contained either copies 
of letters written by the owner, or collections of letters 
received from others (cf. Wilcken, Archiv, 1, 16S and 372). 
Gregory appears to have made his collection of St. Basil's 
letters from various sources, and such a collection would in 
all probability have the letters to the same addressee grouped 
together, just as they were taken from the different books. 
It is interesting to note that the order of the letters of the 
Aa family of MSS. is by groups according to addressee The 
archetype of this group may very well have gone back to the 
original collection of St. Gregory of Nazianzus. 



INTRODUCTION 

A.D. 

358-361. During this period of his Hfe (monastic) 
St. Basil writes the PhUocalia, Moralia, 
and the Rides. 

360. St. Basil is ordained deacon. He dis- 

putes with Aetius. The Bishop 
Dianius subscribes to the Creed of 
Ariminum^ and St. Basil accordingly 
leaves Caesarea. He pays a visit to 
St. Gregory of Nazianzus. 

361-363. Julian the Apostate becomes Emperor. 

362. St. Basil returns to Caesarea. 

363. Julian dies on June 27, and Jovian 

succeeds him. 

364. Jovian is succeeded by Valentinian and 

Valens. 
364 (c.) St. Basil is ordained priest. He writes 

his work against Eunomius. 

369. St. Emmelia dies. St. Basil visits 

Samosata. 

370. Death of Eusebius of Caesarea. St. Basil 

is elected Archbishop of Caesarea. 
372. Parleys of Basil and Valens. St. Basil 

persuades Gregory of Nazianzus to 
be consecrated Bishop of Sasima. 
He consecrates his brother Gregory, 
Bishop of Nyssa. Estrangement of 
St. Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus. 

374. St. Basil writes the De Spiritu Sancto. 

375. Death of Valentinian. Gratian and 

Valentinian II become Emperors. 

378. Death of Valens. 

379. Death of St. Basil (Jan. 1). Accession 

of Theodosius. 

xl 



INTRODUCTION 



V. Bibliography 

1. Manuscripts 

The most important manuscripts of St. Basil's 
Letters as selected and arranged by Abbe J. 
Bessieres ^ are the following : 

BRANCH A 



Familij Ar 

Baroccianus 121. Oxford . 

Laurent. Mediceus LVII. 7. Florence 

Vaticanus 43i fonds. Vatican, Rome . 

Marcianus 61. Venice 

Patmius 57. Patmos 

Bodleianus, Thomas Roe 18. Oxford 

Parisinus 334 S. Paris 

Famihj Ah 

Parisinus 506. Paris 
Parisinus 763 S. Paris 
Vindobonensis 142. Vienna 
Estensis 229. Modena 
Marcianus 79. Venice 
Bodleianus Miscell. 38. Oxford 

Family Ac 

Parisinus 967. Paris 
Parisinus 1021 S. Paris . 



XI 
XI et XII 
XIII 
XI 
XII 
XIV 
XVI 



Xs. 

XI s. 

XI s. 
XI/XII s. 
. XII s. 
. XVI s. 



XIV s. 
XIII s. 



* " La Tradition nianuscrite de la correspondance de Saint 
Basile," The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. XXL, 1919. 
(Several instalments, beginning Xo. 81, 1.) Reprinted as a 
book by the Oxford University Press, 1923. 

xli 



INTRODUCTION 



BRANCH B 

Family Bo 
Parisinus 37 P. Arsenal . 
Laurent. Mediceus IV. 14. Florence 
Vaticanus 713 fonds. Vatican, Rome 
Monacensis 497. Munich 
Parisinus Coislin. 237. Paris 

Fa mill/ Bu 
Vaticanus 2209 f. Vatican 
Parisinus 971. Paris 
Ambrosianus 604. Milan . 



XI 
X XI 
XIII 

XI 

XI 



X/XI 
XVI 



Parisinus 1020 S. 



Family Bx. 
Paris . 



XVI s. 



XI s. 



Family Bz 
Vaticanus 435 f. Vatican, Rome . . XIII s. 

Berolinensis 23. Berlin .... XVI s. 

2. Editions 
Aldine Edition, Venice, 1499. 
Vincent Obsopoeus, Grossenbain, 1528. 
Bale, first edition, 1532. 
Stephanus Sabius, Venice, 1535. 
Bale, second edition, 1551. 
Claudius Morellus, Paris, 1618. 
S. Cramoisy, Paris, 1638. 
Fran9ois Combefis, Paris, 1679.^ 

^ This work is a collection of critical annotations to the 
text of St. Basil's letters. Fran§ois Combefis, a Dominican, 
had prepared an edition of the works of iSt. Basil, which was 
not published because of Combefis's death in 1679. We have 
here his observations on the text, as published by the 
Dominican, Vincent Lefevre. 

xlii 



INTRODUCTION 

D. J. Gamier, Paris, 1721-1730. 

Garnier and Maran, Paris, 1839 (a second edition 
of the preceding work). 

Patrologia Graeca (a reproduction of Garnier's 
edition). 

3. Tranfilatioiis of the Letters 

Grone, V., Die neure Kempteiier Bibliothek der 
Kirchenvdter. A translation of selected works. 
Kempten, 1875-1881. (A revision of the earlier 
edition.) 

Jackson, B., A Select Library of Xicene and Post- 
Xice?ie Fathers of the Christian Church, Series 2, 
Vol. VIII. New York, 1895. A translation of the 
De Spiritu Sancto, the Homilies on the He.vaemeron, 
and the Letters. 

Kaplanides. The complete works translated into 
modern Greek. Athens, 1900. 



4. Miscellaneous Works on St. Basil 

A very complete list of the works on St. Basil 
may be obtained by consulting the following : 

Bardenhewer, O., Geschichte der Altkirchlichen 
Liieratur, Vol. III., 130-162. 

Chevalier, Bio-Bihliographie (Repert. des sources 
hist.), pp. 455-457. 

Hoffmann, Bibliograph- Lcxikon der gesamten Literatur 
der Griechen, i. 407-421. 

Klussmann, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Classicorum, 
Scriptores Graeci, i. 367-370. 

Some of the more important individual works 
are : 

xliii 



INTRODUCTION 

Allard, P., S. Basile. Paris, 1899. 

Baert, F., De S. BasiUo M. : Acta SS, Ivnii 2, 
pp. 807-958. Antwerp, 1698. 

Bavle, A., St. Basile, archeveqiie de Cesaree, pp, 
329-379. Avignon, 1878. 

Bessieres, J., "La Tradition manuscrite de la 
Correspondance de Saint Basile," The Journal of 
Theological Studies, Vol. XXI. (1919), 1 ff. Also 
Oxford, 1923. 

Bohringer, Fr., Die Kirche Christi imd ihre Zeugen 
oder die Kirchengeschichte in Biographien, 2nd Ed. 
Vol. VII., Die drei Kappadozier. 1. Basilius von 
Casarea. Stuttgart, 1875. 

Campbell, J. M., The Injiiience of the Second 
Sophistic on the Style of the Sermons of St. Basil the 
Great. The Catholic University of America Patristic 
Studies, Vol. II. Washington,' 1922. 

Ceillier, Dom. R., Histoire gencrale des auteurs 
sacres et ecclesiastiques. Paris, 1858-1869. 

Clarke, V. K. L., -SV. Basil the Great: a Study in 
Monasticism. Cambridge, 1912. 

Deferrari, R. J., "The Classics and the Greek 
Writers of the Early Church : Saint Basil," Classical 
Journal, XIU. 579-591. 

Eirenides, Bt'o? rov iv dyiots Trarpos rjfxQtv BacnXetov 
Tov MeyaAou. Athens, 1881. 

Ernst, v., " Basilius des Grossen Verkehr mit den 
Occidentalen," Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, X^T. 
(1896), 626-664. 

Farrar, F. W., Lives of the Fathers : St. Basil, 
Vol. II. New York, 1889. 

Fialon, E., Etude historique et litferaire sur Saint 
Basile. Paris, 1861. 

Guignet, Les procedes epistolaires de St. Gregoire 
xliv 



INTRODUCTION 

de Xazianze compares a ceux de ses coideifiporains^ 
Paris, 1911. 

Holl, K,, Amphilochius von Ikonium in seinem 
rerhaltnis cu den Grossen Kappadoziern. Tiibingen, 
1904. 

Jacks, L. v., St. Basil and Greek Literature. The 
Catholic University of America Patristic Studies, 
Vol. I. Washington, 1922. 

Klose, C. R., Basilius der Grosse. Stralsund, 1835. 

Loofs, F., Eustatkins von Sehaste und die Chronologie 
der BasiUusbriefe. Halle, 1898. 

Maran, Pr., Vita S. Basi/ii M. Second volume 
of the Benedictine edition, Paris, 1730, XXXVII.- 
CXCII. Migne, P. G. 29, V.-CLXXVII. 

Martin, V., Essai sur les lettres de Saint Basile le 
Grand. Nantes, 1865. 

Morison, E. F., St. Basil and his Rule : a Study in 
Early Monasticism, Oxford, 1912. 

Newman, J. H., Historical Sketches, Vol. III. 1873. 

Ramsay, W. M., "Basil of Caesareia," The Ex- 
positor, pp. 49-61. Jan. 1896. 

Rivere, J., Saint Basile. Paris, 1925. 

Schaefer, J., Basilius des Grossen Beziehungen zum 
Abendlande. Miinster, 1909. 

Smith, R. T., St. Basil the Great. London, 1879. 

Tillemont, L., Memoires pour servir a I'histoire 
ecclesiasticpie des six premiers sice les, Tome IX. Paris, 
1693-1712. 

Trunk, J., De Basilio Magna sermonis, Attici 
imitatore. Stuttfijart, 1911. 



xlv 



INTRODUCTION 

V"I. The Letters of St. Basil arranged in Parallel 
Columns according to the Benedictine, and 
THE Older Numbering. 





Older 




Older 


Benedictine. Arrangement. 


Benedictine. Arrangement 


I . 


165 


XXXVII . 


248 


II . 


1 


XXXVIII . 


43 


Ill . 


175 . 


XXXIX . 


206 


IV . 


169 


XL . 


207 


V . 


188 


XLI . 


208 


VI . 


189 


XLII . 


1 


VII . 


2 


XLIII . 


2 


VIII . 


141 


XLIV . 


3 


IX . 


41 


XLV . 


4 


X . 


175 


XLVI . 


5 


XI . 


259 


XLVII . 


4 


XII . 


174 


XLVIII . 


254 


XIII . 


172 


XLIX . 


408 


XIV . 


19 


L . 


409 


XV . 


415 


LI . 


86 


XVI . 


168 


LII . 


300 


XVII . 


384 


LIII . 


76 


XVIII . 


211 


LIV . 


181 


XIX . 


3 


LV . 


198 


XX . 


83 


LVI . 


354 


XXI . 


373 


LVII . 


56 


XXII . 


411 


LVIII . 


44 


XXIII . 


383 


LIX . 


46 


XXIV . 


54 


LX . 


45 


XXV . 


53 


LXI . 


47 


XXVI . 


362 


LXII . 


185 


XXVII . 


6 


LXIII . 


371 


XXVIII . 


62 


LXIV . 


350 


XXIX . 


. 67 


LXV . 


363 


XXX . 


7 


LXVI . 


48 


XXXI . 


267 


LXVII . 


50 


XXXII . 


84 


LXVIII . 


57 


XXXIII . 


358 


LXIX . 


52 


XXXIV . 


5 


LXX . 


220 


XXV . 


236 


LXXI . 


33 


XXXVI . 


228 


LXXII . 


351 



xlvi 



INTRODUCTION 





Older 




Older 


Arrangement. 


Benedictine. Arrangement 


. 388 


CXIV . 


204 




379 


cxv . 


87 




3(31 


CXVI . 


174 




331 


CXVII . 


234 




226 


CXVIII . 


318 




215 


CXIX . 


307 




308 


cxx . 


58 




49 


CXXI . 


195 




319 


CXXII . 


313 




51 


CXXIII . 


343 




427 


CXXIV . 


328 




389 


cxxv . 


78 




305 


CXXVI . 


364 




179 


CXXVII . 


253 




390 


CXXVIII . 


265 




243 


CXXIX . 


59 




273 


cxxx . 


196 




61 


CXXXI . 


382 




324 


CXXXII . 


315 




69 


CXXXIII . 


320 




289 


CXXXIV . 


341 




372 


cxxxv . 


167 




261 


CXXXVI . 


257 




332 


CXXXVII . 


366 




68 


CXXXVIII . 


8 




259 


CXXXIX . 


71 




187 


CXL . 


60 




256 


CXLI . 


262 




202 


CXLII . 


418 




183 


CXLIII . 


419 




296 


CXLIV . 


420 




279 


CXLV . 


255 




301 


CXLVI . 


268 




407 


CXLVII . 


356 




287 


CXLVIII . 


376 




288 


CXLIX . 


377 




. 422 


CL . 


392 




277 


CLI . 


81 




276 


CLII . 


374 




164 


CLIII . 


428 




. 203 


CLIV . 


337 



xlvii 



INTRODUCTION 





Older 






Benedictine. Arrangement. 


Benedictine. A 


CLV . 


241 


CXCVI . . 


CLAT . 


342 


CXCVII 




CLVII . 


270 


CXCVIII 




CLVIII . 


271 


CXCIX 




CLIX . 


387 


cc 




CLX . 


197 


CCI 




CLXI . 


393 


ecu 




CLXII . 


258 


CCIII 




CLXIII . 


378 


CCIV 




CLXIV . 


338 


ccv 




CLXV . 


339 


CCVI 




CLXVI . 


251 


CCVII 




CLXVII . 


252 


CCVIII 




CLXVIII . 


269 


CCIX 




CLXIX . 


412 


cox 




CLXX . 


414 


CCXI 




CLXXI . 


413 


CCXII 




CLXXII . 


335 


CCXIII 




CLXXIII . 


302 


CCXIV 




CLXXIV . 


283 


ccxv 




CLXXV . 


410 


CCXVI 




CLXXVI . 


394 


CCXVII 




CLXXVII . 


334 


CCXVIII 




CLXXVIII . 


360 


CCXIX 




CLXXIX . 


380 


ccxx 




CLXXX . 


333 


CCXXI 




CLXXXI . 


316 


CCXXII 




CLXXXII . 


266 


CCXXIII 




CLXXXIII . 


294 


CCXXIV 




CLXXXIV . 


306 


ccxxv 




CLXXXV . 


310 


CCXXVI 




CLXXXVI . 


213 


CCXXVII 




CLXXXVII . 


214 


CCXXVIII 




CLXXXVIII . 


1 


CCXXIX 




CLXXXIX . 


80 


ccxxx 




cxc . 


406 


CCXXXI 




CXCI . 


398 


CCXXXII 




CXCII . 


329 


CCXXXIII 




CXCIII . 


369 


CCXXXIV 




CXCIV . 


368 


ccxxxv 




cxcv . 


312 


CCXXXVI 





xlviii 



INTRODUCTJOX 





Older 




Older 


Benedictine. Arrangement. 


Benedictine. 


Arrangement 


CCXXXVII . 


264 


CCLXXIX 


. . 274 


CCXXXIX . 


10 


CCLXXX 


. . 275 


CCXL . 


192 


CCLXXXI 


. . 278 


CCXLI . 


260 


CCLXXXII 


. . 336 


CCXLII . 


182 


CCLXXXIII 


. . 284 


CCXLIII . 


70 


CCLXXXIV 


. . 304 


CCXLIV . 


82 


CCLXXXV 


. . 229 


CCXLV . 


309 


CCLXXXVI 


. . 417 


CCXLVI . 


66 


CCLXXXVII 


. . 245 


CCXLVII . 


190 


CCLXXXVIII 


. . 246 


CCXLVIII . 


405 


CCLXXXIX 


. . 249 


CCXTJX . 


238 


ccxc 


. . 323 


CCL . 


85 


CCXCI 


. . 340 


CCLI . 


72 


CCXCII 


. . 386 


CCLII . 


291 


CCXCIII 


. . 166 


CCLIII . 


199 


CCXCIV 


. . 210 


CCLIV . 


311 


ccxcv 


. . 295 


CCLV . 


314 


CCXCVI 


. . 285 


CCLVI . 


200 


CCXCVII 


. . 286 


CCLVII . 


303 


CCXCVIII 


. . 233 


CCLVIII . 


325 


CCXCIX 


. . 362 


CCLIX . 


184 


ccc 


. . 201 


CCLX . 


317 


CCCI 


. . 346 


COLXI . 


65 


CCCII 


. . 347 


CCLXII . 


344 


CCCIII 


. . 423 


CCLXIII . 


74 


CCCIV 


. . 357 


CCLXIV . 


326 


cccv 


. . 232 


CCLXV . 


293 


CCCVI 


. . 424 


COLXVI . 


321 


CCCVII 


. . 247 


CCLXVII . 


327 


CCCVIII 


. . 233 


CCLXVIII . 


9 


CCCIX 


. . 230 


CCLXIX . 


186 


cccx 


. . 237 


CCLXX . 


244 


CCCXI 


. . 421 


CCLXXI . 


11 


CCCXII 


. . 426 


CCLXXII . 


330 


CCCXIII 


. . 353 


CCLXXIII . 


216 


CCCXIV 


. . 231 


CCLXXIV . 


416 


cccxv 


. . 218 


CCLXXV . 


217 


CCCXVI 


. . 219 


CCLXXVI . 


365 


CCCXVII 


. . 222 


CCLXXVII . 


42 


CCCXVIII 





COLXXVIII . 


. 425 


CCOXIX 


'. . — 



xlix 



INTRODUCTION 





Older 




Older 


Benedictine. Arrangement. 


Benedictine. Arrangement 


cccxx . 


221 


CCCXLIII . 


150 


CCCXXI . 


212 


CCCXLIV . 


151 


CCCXXII . 


223 


CCCXLV . 


152 


CCCXXIII . 


355 


CCCXLVI . 


153 


CCCXXIV . 


375 


CCCXLVII . 


154 


cccxxv . 


381 


CCCXLVIII . 


. 155 


CCCXXVI . 


224 


CCCXLIX . 


156 


CCCXXVII . 


225 


CCCL . 


157 


CCCXXVIII . 


367 


CCCLI . 


158 


CCCXXIX . 


282 


CCCLII . 


159 


cccxxx . 


176 


CCCLIII . 


160 


CCCXXXI . 


240 


CCCLIV . 


161 


CCCXXXII . 


177 


CCCLV . 


162 


CCCXXXIII . 


178 


CCCLVI . 


163 


CCCXXXIV . 


180 


CCCLVII . 





cccxxxv . 


142 


CCCLVIII . 


— 


CCCXXXVI . 


143 


CCCLIX . 





CCCXXXVII . 


144 


CCCLX . 


206 


CCCXXXVIII . 


145 


CCCLXI . 





CCCXXXIX . 


146 


CCCLXII . 





CCCXL . 


147 


CCCLXIII . 





CCCXLI . 


148 


CCCLXIV . 





CCCXLII . 


149 


CCCLXV . 


— 



VII. The Letters of St. Basil arranged in Parallel 
Columns according to the Older^ and the 
Benedictine Numbering. 





Benedictine 




Benedictine 


Older. 


Arrangement. 


Older. 


Arrangement 


1 


. XLII 


3 . 


. XIX 


2 


. XLIII 


4 . 


XL VII 


3 


. XLIV 


5 . 


XXXIV 


4 


. XLV 


6 . 


XXVII 


5 


. XLVI 


7 . 


XXX 


1 


. CLXXXVIII 


8 . 


CXXXVIII 


2 


. CXCIX 


9 . 


CCLXVIII 


3 


. CCXVII 


10 . 


CCXXXIX 


1 


. II 


11 . 


CCLXXI 


2 


. VII 


19 . 


XIV 



INTRODUCTION 



Benedictine 




Benedictine 


Arrancrcmeiit. 


Older. 


Arrangement. 


. . LXXI 


81 


. CLI 


. . IX 


82 


. CCXLIV 


. . ccLxxvn 


83 


. XX 


. . XXXVIII 


84 


. XXXII 


. . LVIII 


85 


. CCL 


. . LX 


86 


. LI 


. . LIX 


87 


. CXV 


. . LXI 


141 


. VIII 


. . LXVI 


142 


. CCCXXXV 


. . LXXX 


143 


. CCCXXXVI 


. . Lxvn 


144 


. CCCXXXVII 


. . LXXXII 


145 


. CCCXXXVIIl 


. . LXIX 


146 


. CCCXXXIX 


. . XXV 


147 


. CCCXL 


. . XXIV 


148 


. CCCXLI 


. . CXCVII 


149 


. CCCXLII 


. . LVII 


150 


. CCCXLI 1 1 


. . LXVIII 


151 


. CCCXLIV 


. . CXX 


152 


. CCCXLV 


. . CXXIX 


153 


. CCCXLVI ■ 


. . CXL 


154 


. CCCXLVI I 


. . XC 


155 


. CCCXLVIII 


. . XXVIII 


156 


. CCCXLIX 


. . CCVII 


157 


. CCCL 


. . ccx 


158 


. CCCLI 


. . CCLXI 


159 


. CCCLII 


. . CCXLVI 


160 


. CCCLIIl 


. . XXIX 


161 


. CCCLIV 


. . XCVII 


162 


. CCCLV 


. . XCII 


163 


. CCCLVI 


. . CCXLIII 


164 


. CXII 


. . CXXXIX 


165 


. I 


. . CCLI 


166 


. CCXCIII 


. . CCXXVI 


167 


. CXXXV 


. . CCLXIII 


168 


. XVI 


. . CCIV 


169 


. IV 


. . LIII 


170 


. CCXI 


. . CCIII 


171 


. XII 


. . cxxv 


172 


. . XIII 


. . CCXXIII 


173 


. . Ill 


. . CLXXXIX 


174 


. . CXVI 



INTRODUCTION 





Benedictine 




Benedictine 


Dlder. 


Arrangement. 


Older. 


Arrangement. 


176 . 


. X 


217 . 


. CCLXXV 


176 . 


. cccxxx 


218 . 


. CCCXV 


177 . 


. CCCXXXII 


219 . 


. CCGXVI 


178 . 


. CCCXXXIII 


220 . 


. LXX 


179 . 


. LXXXVI 


221 . 


. CCCXX 


180 . 


. CCCXXXIV 


222 . 


. CCOXVII 


181 . 


. LIV 


223 . 


. CCCXXII 


182 . 


. CCXLII 


224 . 


. CCCXXVI 


183 . 


. CII 


225 . 


. CCCXXVII 


184 . 


. CCLIX 


226 . 


. LXXVII 


185 . 


. LXII 


227 . 


. CCIX 


186 . 


. CCLXII 


228 


. XXXVI 


187 


. XCIX 


229 


. CCLXXXV 


188 


. V 


230 


. CCCIX 


189 


. VI 


231 


. CCCXIV 


190 


. CCXLVII 


232 


. cccv 


191 


. CCXXXVIII 


233 


. CCCVIII 


192 


. CCXL 


234 


. GXVII 


193 


. CCXXIX 


235 


. CCXCVIII 


194 


. ccxxx 


236 


. XXXV 


195 


. CXXI 


237 


. . cccx 


196 


. cxxx 


238 


. . CCXLIX 


197 


. . CXL 


239 


. . XI 


198 


. . LV 


240 


. . CCOXXXI 


199 


. . CCLIII 


241 


. . CLV 


200 


. . CCLVI 


242 


. . CCXIII 


201 


. . CCC 


243 


. . LXXXVIII 


202 


. . CCLVI 


244 


. . CCLXX 


203 


. . CXIII 


246 


. . CCLXXXVII 


204 


. . CXIV 


246 


. . CCLXXXVIII 


205 


. . CXIII 


247 


. . CCCVII 


206 


. . CXIV 


248 


. . XXXVII 


207 


. . XL 


249 


. . CCLXXXIX 


208, 2( 


)9 . XLI 


250 


. . CCXV 


210 


. . CCXCIV 


251 


. . CLXVI 


211 


. . XVIII 


252 


. . CLXVII 


212 


. . CCCXXI 


253 


. . CXXVII 


213 


. . CLXXXVI 


254 


. . XLVIII 


214 


. . CLXXXVII 


255 


. . CXXVII 


215 


. . LXXVIII 


256 


. . c 


216 


. . OCLXXIII 


257 


. . CXXXVI 



Hi 



INTRODUCTION 



Benedictine 




Benedictine 


Arrangement. 


Older. 


Arrangement, 


. . CLXII 


299 


. ccxx 


. . XCVIII 


300 


. LII 


. . CCXLI 


301 


. cv 


. . XCV 


302 


. CLXXIII 


. . CXLI 


303 


. CCCVII 


. . CXCVIII 


304 


. CCLXXXIV 


. . ccxxxvn 


305 


. LXXXV 


. . CXXVIII 


306 


. CLXXXIV 


. . CLXXXII 


307 


. CXIX 


. . XXXI 


308 


. LXXIX 


. . CXLVI 


309 


. CCXLV 


. . CLXVIII 


310 


. CLXXXV 


. . CLVII 


311 


. CCLIV 


. . CLXVIII 


312 


. CXCV 


. . CCXVI 


313 


. CXXII 


. . LXXIX 


314 


. CCLV 


. . CCXXIX 


316 


. CXXXII 


. . CCLXXX 


316 


. CLXXXI 


. . CXI 


317 


. CCLX 


. . ex 


318 


. CXVIII 


. . CCLXXXI 


319 


. LXXXI 


. . CIV 


320 


. CXXXIII 


. . CCXIX 


321 


. CCLXVI 


. . CCVIII 


322 


. CCV 


. . CCCXXIX 


323 


. ccxc 


. . CLXXIV 


324 


. XCI 


. . CCLXXXIII 


325 


. CCLVIII 


. . CCXCVI 


326 


. CCXCIV 


. . CCXCVII 


327 


. CCLXVII 


. . evil 


328 


. CXXIV 


. . CVIII 


329 


. . CXCII 


. . XCIII 


330 


. CCLXXII 


. . CCXXVIII 


331 


. . LXXVI 


. . CCLII 


332 


. . XCVI 


. . CCXXVII 


333 


. . CLXXX 


. . CCLXV 


334 


. . CLXXVII 


. . CLXXXIII 


335 


. . CLXXII 


. . CCXCV 


336 


. . CCLXXXII 


. . cm 


337 


. . CLIV 


. . CCXXTI 


338 


. CLXIV 


. . COXXI 


339 


. OLXV 



liii 



INTRODUCTION 





Benedictine 




Benedictine 


Older. 


Arrangement. 


Older. 


Arrangement 


340 


. . CCXCI 


381 . 


. cccxxv 


341 


. . CXXXIV 


382 . 


. CXXXI 


342 


. . CLVI 


383 . 


. XXIII 


343 


. . CXXIII 


384 . 


. XVII 


344 


. . CCLXII 


385 . 


. ccxxv 


345 


. . CCXXIV 


386 . 


. CCXCII 


346 


. . CCCI 


387 . 


. CLIX 


347 


. . CCCII 


388 . 


. LXXIII 


348 


. . CCVI 


389 . 


. LXXXIV 


349 


. . CCXIV 


390 . 


. LXXXVII 


350 


. . LXIV 


391 . 


. CCXXXVI 


351 


. . LXXII 


392 . 


. CL 


352 


. . CCXCIX 


393 . 


. CLXI 


353 


. . CCCXIII 


394 . 


. CLXXVI 


354 


. . LVI 


395 . 


. CCXXXI 


355 


. . CCCXXIII 


396 . 


. ecu 


356 


. CXLVII 


397 . 


. cc 


357 


. CCCIV 


398 . 


. CXCI 


358 


. XXXIII 


399 . 


. CCXXXIII 


359 


. CXCVI 


400 . 


. CCXXXIV 


360 


. CLXXVIII 


401 . 


. ccxxxv 


361 


. LXXV 


402 . 


. CCI 


362 


. XXVI 


403 . 


. CCXVIII 


363 


. LXV 


404 . 


. CCXXXII 


364 


. CXXVI 


405 . 


. CCXLVIII 


365 


. CCLXXVI 


406 . 


. cxc 


366 


. CXXXVII 


407 . 


. CVI 


367 


. CCCXXVIII 


408 . 


. XLIX 


368 . 


. CXCIV 


409 . 


. L 


369 . 


. CXCIII 


410 . 


. CLXXV 


370 . 


. CCXII 


411 . 


. XXII 


371 . 


. LXIII 


412 . 


. CLXIX 


372 . 


. XCIV 


413 . 


. CLXXI 


373 . 


. XXI 


414 . 


. CLXX 


374 . 


. CLII 


415 . 


. XV 


375 . 


. CCCXXIV 


416 . 


. CCLXXIV 


376 . 


. CXLVIII 


417 . 


. CCLXXXVI 


377 . 


. CXLIX 


418 . 


. CXLII 


378 . 


. CLXIII 


419 . 


. CXLIII 


379 . 


. LXXIV 


420 . 


. CXLIV 


380 . 


. CLXXIX 


421 . 


. CCCXI 


liv 









INTRODUCTION 





Benedictine 




Benedictine 


Older. 


Arrangement. 


Older. 


Arrangement. 


422 . 


CIX 


— 


. CCCXVII 


423 . 


CCCIII 





. CCCLVIII 


424 . 


CCCVI 


— 


. CCCLIX 


425 . 


CCLXXVIII 





. CCCLXI 


420 . 


CCCXII 


— 


. CCCLXII 


427 . 


LXXXIII 





. CCCLXIII 


428 . 


CLIII 


— 


. CCCLXIV 


— 


CCCXVIII 





. CCCLXV 


— 


CCCXIX 







Iv 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF 
SAINT BASIL 



VOL. L 



TOY EN AnOIS nATPOS; HMON 
BA2IAEIOY EniSTOAAI 

I 

ILvaraOirp (^Ckoaocficp^ 

^ATretpijKora p.e ySrj irpo^ ra^; irapa r)]<i Xeyo- 
/JL€vr]<; ^ TVX^^^ iiT-qpeLa^, irap 7)9 aei n TTpb'i to /a/) 
avyyeveaOai aoi i/jLiroBiov yiyove, 6av/jLa(TT(b<; ttw? 
dveKaXeaco koI Trape/JLvdijcrco rol^ ypd/jL/iaai. fcal 
yap TTft)? y]B7] Kal Kar efxavTov earpecf^ov, fxi] irore 
dXijOe^; icTTL to irapa tow ttoWojv OpvWov/jievov, 
oTi dvdyKi] Tt? ecTTL Kal €ip.apfiepi] rj Kal tci puKpa 
Kal TCI fxei^w tmv ij/jieTepcov dyovaa, avTol Be oi'Sei/09 
iafxev 01 dvOpcDiroL Kvptor >;, el jxt] tovto, tu;^?; t^? 
•ndvTCd^ Tov dvOpooTTLvov iXavvet jStov. Kal tovtwv 
TToWrjv (Tvyyvcop.yv e^ei^ tmv Xoytcrpioiv, iireihdv 
Ta^ atrtci?, vcp' 6iv e;? avTOv<; rrpot^'xPyiv, /jid6)]<;. 

'£70; KaTekiiTov Ta? \\.6i]va<; KaTa c^i'jp.rjv t/}? 
ar}s (f)L\oao(j)ia^, vTrepiScov t6)v eKsl. irapehpapLOv 
he Ti^v ecj)' 'EX\i]a7T6pT(p ttoXlv, co? ovSeU 'OBva- 

^ TTpos EvaTaOiov irpecrSvTepop 'Airiox^i^s A, B ; nphs Eixtto.- 
Qiov (piAoaocpof otto 'Autlox^'^^s Trpo tov irpea^vr^pov KaTacnaOrivai 
C, L), G ; EiiaTadicf (pi\oa6(pw ^Avtiox^ic-s Trepl rov npea^uTepiov F. 
According to the Benedictines none of these titles is possible 
because Eustathius was not a presl)yter, but a heathen, as is 
indicated by Basil's words: "'Is not all this the hand of 
Fate, as you yourself would say, and the work of Necessity ? " 

2 \iyoixivr]s oni. A, B, C, D. 
2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF 
SAINT BASIL 

LETTER I 

To EUSTATHIUS, THE PHILOSOPHER ^ 

At a time when I was at last disheartened by the 
spite of what men call Fortune^ which has always 
put some obstacle in the way of my seeing you, you 
revived my s])irit and consoled me wonderfully by 
your letter. For I was just turning over in my mind 
the popular saying, and wondering if it were not 
perha{)s true, that the power which directs our affairs 
both great and small is a certain Necessity or Fate, 
while we human beings have in ourselves authority 
over nothing ; or if not this, that it is a kind of 
chance at all events that drives on the lives of men. 
You will be very indulgent with me for harbouring 
these thoughts when you learn the reasons why I 
was drawn to them. 

Owing to the repute of your philosophy, I left 
Athens, scorning everything there. And I hastened 
past the city on the Hellespont^ as no Odysseus 

^ Written in 357. This Eustathius was apparently an 
itinerant philosopher of the age, whose teachings Basil, on 
liis return from the University at Athens, tried in vain to 
hear. Cf. Intro, p. xvii. From the general tone of this 
letter, he seems to have been a pagan. 

' Constantinople. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SALXT BASIL 

creu9 '^€tpi]V(i)V fieXy. Kal riiv ^ Aalav iOav/iaaa 
fiev, 7r/)09 Se rr]v i-u^rpoTToXiv tow iv avrfj /caXow 
yTretyo/jLTjv. eirel Be KareXa/Sov rrjv irarplSa, kol 
ae 6v avrfj, to fxeya 6(l)€Xo<;, ^r)TJ]aa<^ ov^ evpov, 
evrevOev fioL Xolitov al iroXXal koX TTOiKiXai 
a(f)oppal TMV ciSok/jtcov 67rr/ey6vaaL kwXvixcitwv. 
Tj yap aaOevelv TTdvTco<^ ehei, koI hia tovto airoXei' 
ireadaL, rj iirl Trjv kcpav /SaSl^ovTL avvaTraipeiv firj 
Svvacrdar o-v^e Si ttotg pLvpLoL<; irovoi'^ ttiv Svplav 
KaraXa/SovTa, ov/c e^eiv avvelvai rw (fnXoaocpa) 
irpo^ XlyvrTTiov^ airdpavTi. irdXiv ovv ehei Atyvrr- 
Tovh' levai, 8oXi)(^7]P oSov dpyaXerjv t€, koI ovS' 
ivTavOa to cnTovhat,6 fievov e-^eiv. dXX ovrco 
hvaepw^ r]v oyare rj Trjv iirl Ylepcra^; ^aSl^ecv eSei 
Kal crvfjurpolevat eU otl /uli]kl(ttov t^9 /3ap^dp(oi' 
(?}\^69 yap St) KCLKelae- roaavTTj t£9 yv (piXoveiKta 
Tov haipovo^) rj avTov KaOrjaOai iirl rfj^i 'AXef- 
dvSpov, oirep ovv Kal avve/3i]. Sokm ydp fjuoi, el 
fir) oiairep tl Opef-ifia OaXXw TrpoSeiKW/jbevo) eir- 
ofjL€vo<; aTTiiyopeva-a, eireKeiva av ae Kal Nucrcr?;? 
T/}? ^\vhiKrj<i eXOelv dyofxevov Kal, el ti eaycLTOv 
Tr)9 KaO^ ijiici^ oiKOVixevT)^ "^wplov, Kal toutm 
eTrcTrXaurjOrjvat.. 

K.al Tt Sel rd iroXXd Xeyeiv ; dXXd to TeXevTalov 
vvv eirl Trj<; 7raTpi8o<; SidyovTC avyyeveaOai ovk 
i^eyevero, [laKpaU dppwaTiai^ e^eLpyopievw' al el 
fx-q TOV ye XoiTTOv fieTpccorepat yevoiVTO, ovBe Kara 
TOV ^(^ei/JLOJva Tjj XoycortjTL aov avveao/jLeOa. TavTa 

^ Od. 12. 158. 2 Caesarea is probaLly meant. 

3 Od. 4. 483. 

* In the Punjab. Cf. Soph. Ajax, 700. 

^ Here used as a title, as often in B^'zantine Greek. 

4 



LETTER I 

ever avoided Sirens' songs. ^ And thoii<rli I marvelled 
at Asia's wonders, I hurried on toward the mother- 
eity " of her glories. Yet when I reached the 
fatherland, and searching there for you, my great 
help, found you not, from that time on and ever 
since I have encountered many varied experiences 
which have put unexpected obstacles in my wa}-. 
For either I had to be sick and consequently to 
miss seeing you, or I found myself unable to join 
you as you set out for the Orient ; and when at 
last by innumerable toils I arrived in Syria^ I could 
not be with my philosopher, who had set out for 
Egypt. So, once more, I was obliged to go to 
Egypt, '' a long and weary way," ^ and not even 
there could I have my desire. Nay, so love-sick 
was I that I was compelled either to take the road 
to Persia and go with you as you advanced to the 
uttermost limits of the land of the barbarians — for 
indeed you went even thither, so obstinate was the 
demon who kept us apart — or else take up my 
abode here at Alexandria. This last is what I 
actually did. For if I had not grown weary of 
following you as a lamb follows the shepherd's staff 
held out before it, I really think that you would 
have been driven on and on even beyond Indian 
Nyssa,* or, if there is an uttermost spot of our 
world, that you would have wandered even there. 

But why need I tell the whole long story ? 
Coming last of all to the end of it, though you are 
now staving in your fatherland, it has not been 
granted me to be with you, since I have been kept 
away by long periods of sickness ; and if these do 
not soon become more moderate, we shall not be 
able to be with Your Eloquence ^ this winter, either. 

5 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

oi);^ 6ifiap/ievy]<; epya, co? cii^ avro^ eliroL'^ ; ravra 
ouK dvdyKT]'; ; ravra ov}(^i, /iL/cpou Selv, /cal TOv<i 
TOiv iroL7]TO)v eirl TavTciXro fjLv6ou<; vTrepe/SdXero ; 
d\X\ oirep 6(f)r)v, pawv ykyova toU ypdfM/iaai Ka\ 
ovKeri iirl t?)? avT)]<; el/il yz^co/x?;?. (pr^fu Se y^prjvai 
SiSovTi fiev rd dyadd rw Sew %<'i/)/^' elBivat, ra- 
fiLevo/jLev(p Se jirj hva-)(^epaiveiv, Kal St] ovv kuI 
r^fxlv el iJLev 7Tapd(7)(otro avvelvai aoi, ravr dpiard 
re ofjLOv Kal tj^Lara rjyqcrofieOa. el Be dva^dXoLTO, 
TTpdui^ ol'ao/xev ryv l^-qpiiav. dfieivov ydp irov 
7rdvT(t)<;, 7] ft)? dv t)fxel<i irpoeXoipieOa} hiOLKel rd 
rj/xerepa. 

II 

BatTtXefO? TprjyopLcp 

^Kireyvwv aov ttjv i7naroX)]V, cocnrep o'l rov<; 
TMV (jiiXwv 7ralSa<i Ik t^? einc^aivoixevi^fi avrol^ 
opLOLorrjTo^ 7rpb<; tou9 TeKovra^; iirr/LvooaKOvaL, to 
ydp fir) fieya elvai (f)r]aaL ttjv tov tottov Kura- 
(Tfceur)v 7r/3o? to ifiTroiijaaL 6pp.7]v riva rfj "^v^f} 
aov 619 TOV fied' i^picov /Slov irplv dv irepl tov Tponov 
Ti fidOp<; Kal T^? Staycoyr]<; aov rjv ovtw^ to Bia- 
voiifxa Kal Trj<; afj<; '^^rvyn)'^ d^iov, r^}? iravTa ra 
Trjhe /jL7]B€v TiOepievr]^ 7rpo<; Triv iv iirayyeXlaLf; 
7)fjuv d7roKeifi€V7]v /laKaptoTrjTa. iyoj Be a fiev 

^ TT^o'iSoi/jLfOa C T). 

6 



LETTER II 

Is not all this the hand of Fate, as you yourself would 
say, and the work of Necessity? Have not these 
thin<^s almost surpassed even the poet's tales about 
Tantalus? But, as I said, 1 have been put at ease 
by the receipt of your letter, and I no longer hold 
the same opinion. I now say that I ought to give 
thanks to God when He giveth benefits, and not be 
vexed with Him when He dispenseth them grudg- 
ingly. So, therefore, if He should grant that we be 
with you, we count it at once the best and the 
most pleasing gift ; but if He should postpone this 
blessing, we shall calmly bear our loss. For surely 
He administers our atlairs better than we should if 
the choice were ours. 



LETTER II 

Basil to Gregory ^ 

I RECOGNIZED your letter, just as men recognize 
the children of their friends by the parents' like- 
ness appearing in them. For when you say that 
the nature of our surroundings would not greatly 
tend to implant in your soul a desire to live with us 
until you should learn something of our habits and 
mode of life, it is truly characteristic of your mind 
and worthy of your soul, which counts all the things 
of this earth as nothing compared with the promised 
bliss which is in store for us. But I am ashamed to 

^ Written to Gregory of Nazianzus at the l)eginning of 
Basil's retirement to Pontus ; in about 3r)8. Basil con- 
stantly endeavoured to induce Gregory to join him in his 
monastic life. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TTOLoi auTO? eVt T>}9 6a)(^aTia<; TavT7]<;, vvkto<; koI 
r)fiepa<;, ypd(j)€LV al(7)(yvoixaL. KareXiTTOv fiev yap 
Ta<; iv aarei SLaTpLl3a<; o)? fxvpi(ov Kaicoiv a(f)opfj,d<;, 
ifiavTOV 8e ovttw diroKiiTelv rihvvrfir\v. oKh! ojioib'^ 
elfJLL Toh iv Oakdcrar] virb ri}? Kara rov ttXovv 
d7retpLa<; diropoviievoi^ •*- koI vavrccocnv' oc tcG 
fieyeOei rod ifkoiov hva'X^epaivovcnv co? iroXvv rov 
cdXov irape-x^ofievw, KuKeWev eirl rov Xefi/3ov i) ro 
aKdnov fJL€ra^aLvovr6<^, 'iravra-)(ov vavriwat koX 
diTopovvrai' (TV/jLfjL€r6p)(^6rai, yap avrol<; i) drjBta ^ 
KOI r) x^^V' roLOvrov ovv ri fcal ro rjfierepov. rd 
yap evoLKa irdOrj avfi7r€pi(f)epovre<; Travraxov /juerd 
roiv o/jLOLcov 0opv/3cov iafiev, oiare ovSev fieya ^ t?}? 
ip7]pLa<; * d7rwvdp.66a ravrrj^;. a f-ievroi iroielv 
eSei Kal odev vTrfjp^ev dv ijplv roov l^i'^v e^eaOaL 
rov 7rpo<; aoyrrjpLav Ka6y]yr)aa/ji€vov (et Tt? ydp, 
^rjal, OeXei OTrlacj fiov iXOelv, dirapvyjadado) 
eavrov Kal dpdrco rov aravpbv avrou Kal dKoXov- 
Beirw p^ol), ravrd iariv. 

'Ei; 7;crL'%t<x rov vovv e^^iv TreipdaOat irpocry^KeL. 
ct)9 ydp ocjiOaX/jLov irepiayop^evov avv€X(o<;, Kal vvv 
pbkv eirl rd rrXdyta rrepL(j>ep6p,evov, vvv he 7rpo<; rd 
dvot) Kal Kdrw irvKvd^ p,eraarpe^6pevov, ISelv 
€vapyo)<; ro vrroKeipievov ov^ olov re, dXXd y^ph 
TrpoaepeLaOfjvat rrjv dy\nv rco 6p(op.evrp, el p^eXXoL 
ivapyy] avrov iroielaOaL ri-jv Oeav ovrco Kal vovv 
dvO pooirov inro pLvpioov ro)v Kard rov Koapiov (ppov- 
rCSayv irepieXKopbevov d/jLijxavov ivapyo)<; ivarevlaai 
rfj dXrjOeia. dXXd rov p.ev ovrrco rol^ heapiol^ rov 

' aTroXXv/ii^vois A. ^ SeiXla C, F. 

3 eV a<l(l. C, E, F. " Tiavxias C, 



LETTER II 

write what I myself do niirlit and day in this oiit-of-tlie 
way phice. For I have indeed left my life in the 
city, as givino- rise to countless evils, but I have not 
yet been able to leave myself behind. On the con- 
trary, I am like those who go to sea, and because 
they have had no experience in sailing are very dis- 
tressed and sea-sick, and complain of the size of the 
boat as causing the violent tossing ; and then when 
they leave the shiji and take to the dinghy or the 
cock-boat, they continue to be sea-sick and distressed 
wherever they are ; for their nausea and bile go 
with them when they change. Our experience is 
something like this. For we carry our indwelling 
disorders about with us, and so are nowhere free from 
the same sort of disturbances. Consequently we have 
derived no great benefit from our present solitude. 
What we ought to do, however, and Avhat would 
have enabled us to keep close to the footsteps of 
Him who pointed the way to salvation (for He says, 
" If any man will come after Me, let him deny him- 
self, and take up his cross and follow Me "),^ is 
this. 

We must try to keep the mind in tranquillity. 
For just as the eye which constantly shifts its gaze, 
now turning to the right or to the left, now in- 
cessantly peering up and down, cannot see distinctly 
what lies before it, but the sight must be fixed firmly 
on tlie object in view if one would make his vision 
of it clear, so too man's mind when distracted by his 
countless worldly cares cannot focus itself distinctly 
on the truth. Nay, he who is not yet yoked in the 

1 Matt. IG. 24. 

^ TTuKvh om. C, E. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

yd/iov avv6^€vy/jL6vov \vaacoo€i<; eTTiOvfjLLat Kal 
opfxal Bvcr/ccWeKTOL /cal epcorh tiv€<; Sva6pcoT6<; 
efCTapd(Taov(TL' rov Se ijSt] avyKareiXij/jL/jLevov ^ ofxo- 
^vy(p ^ €Tepo<; dopu^o^ (ppovriScov eKhi'^erat' ev 
aTraiBla, iraihwv eTTiOvfJiia'^ ev rfj KTijaei tcov 
iraihodv, 'iTaiSoTpo(f)La<; pepiiiva,^ yvvaLKO<; cpvXaKi], 
oIkov eTTifieXeia, OLKerayv irpocrTaaiai, al Kara 
rd cFViijSoXaia 3Xd/3aL, ol 7rpo<; tou? yeirova^ 
8ta7r\7]KTC(T/jLOL, ul iv Tot? Si/cacrTy]pLOL<; avfiTrXo- 
Kai, tt}? €/jL7ropia<; ol klvSvvol, al r?)? yewpyia<; 
StairovyjaeL^. irdaa rjpepa Ihiav 7]K€1 (^epovaa 
ri]<; '^v')(t]<; emaKOTT^aiv. Kal ^ al vvKre^ Td<; 
/jL€0i]/jL€pivd<; (ppoPTLBa<; irapaXa/jiffdvovaai,^ ev 
raZ? avTaL<; (Pavraalai'^ e^aTrarcbai, rov vovv. 

TovTcov Be fila (fivyi], 6 ')((optafjLb<;'^ diro rov 
KOCTfjLOv Tra^-To?. kocf/jLOu Be aya^co^T^crt?, ov to 
e^co avrov yeveaOai crw/xartArw?, dWd t?}? Trpo? 
TO ao)[JLa aupiTTaOeia^ ii-jv yjrv^rjv diropprj^aL Kai 
yeveaOai diroXiv, doiKOV, dvihiov, dcpiXeraLpov, 
d/cr/j/iova, d/3iov, aTrpdyfiova, davvdXXaKTOV, 
d/xa6rj Tojv dvOpcoTrlvcov StSayfidrcov, eroi/j-ov 
viroBe^aaOai rfj KapOia rd<; €K t?}? deLa<; StBa- 
(jKaXia^ eyyivofieva^ SiaTV7r(oaeL<;. erot/jLaala Be 
KapBla^; i) d'TrofjLdO^]aL<; tojv ck 7rovrjpd<; avv7]deLa<; 
IT poKaTaay^ovTwv avT7]v BiBayfidTcov. ovt€ yap 
ev KTjpw ypdyjrat BvvaTov, firj irpOKaTaXedvavTa 
TOv<; iva7ro/ceifjievov<; y^apaKTrjpa^;' ovt€ '^v'X^^fj 
BoyfiaTa 6ela TrapaOeaOai, firj ra? eV tov 60ov<; 
7rpoXi]yjrei<; avT7]<; e^eXovTa. tt/oo? By] tovto fie- 

^ KaTiiKTfiixjxhov C, E, F: (TvyKarii\ii]jj.fiivov A, B. 
^ bfxo^vyi F. ^ ewiOufxiai C, F. 



LETTER II 

bonds of matrimony is greatly disturbed by violent 
desires, rebellious impulses, and morbid lusts ; -while 
he who is already bound in wedlock is seized by yet 
another tumult of cares ; if childless, by a longing 
for children, if possessing children, by solicitude for 
their nurture, by keeping watch over his wife, by 
the management of his household, the protection of 
his servants' rights, losses on contracts, quarrels with 
neighbours, contests in the law-courts, risks of busi- 
ness, or the labours of the farm. Every day brings 
with it some particular cloud to darken the soul ; and 
night takes over the cares of the day, deluding the 
mind with the same cares in fantasy. 

There is but one escape from all this — separation 
from the world altogether. But withdrawal from the 
world does not mean bodily removal from it, but the 
severance of the soul from sympathy with the body, 
and the giving up city, home, personal possessions, 
love of friends, property, means of subsistence, busi- 
ness, social relations, and knowledge derived from 
human teaching ; and it also means the readiness to 
receive in one's heart the impressions engendered 
there by divine instruction. And making the heart 
ready for this means the unlearning of the teachings 
which already possess it, derived from evil habits. 
For it is no more possible to write in wax without 
first smoothing away the letters previously written 
thereon, than it is to supply the soul with divine 
teachings without first removing its preconceptions 
derived from habit. Now to this end solitude gives 



' fiepifxrai C, F. ' Kal otii. C, K, F 

^ irapa\afiovaai A, B, C, F. 
' Spaa/xus C, F. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

'yiarov 6(f)6\o<; i)fuv /; iprj/xLa 7rape')(^6TaL, Karev- 
I'd^ovaa 7j/jlcov tcl TrdOrj real cr^oX?;!^ StSovcra tw 
Xoycp 7TavT€\M<; avra t?)? yfrv)i^rj<; eKreixelv. &)? 
7^/3 rd di-jpia evfcarayGoviard iari Karaylrrjy^- 
Oevra,^ ovrco<; eirtdviJLLaL Kal opyal kol (f)6^ot 
Kol Xvirai, rd lo^oka rf]^ V^^X'}? Ka/cd, Karevvaa- 
6evTa Sid T?;? i)av')(^ia<^ f<^CLl /j.i] e^aypiuLvofxeva 
r(p (7vve)(€L epediapw, evKaTaywviaroTepa rfj 
ovvd/jL6L rov \6yov ylveraL. earco tolvvv to 
X^oplov TOLOVTOV, olov Trip iari Kal to i)pbeT€pov, 
iiTL[ii^ia<i dv6 pdiiTwv dirrfKXayfJievov, o)? viro 
/i7]Sevo<; Tcov e^coOev to auvex^^i ti]<; daKi^aew^ 
SiaKOTTTeadai. 

"Ao-KTjati; 8e evdefiela^; t7]V "^v^^jjv Tpe(f)€i tol(! 
6eioL<^ Stavoy]/jLaai. tl ovv fxaKapLcoTepov ^ tov 
Ti^v dyyiXcov ')(^opeiau iv yfj pufielaOaL ; ev6v<^ 
/lev dp-^o/jLev't]^; 7)jxepa<: eh €V)(d<; opfioiVTa, 
vfivoL^ KOI (phal<^ yepaipeiv tov KTiaavTa ; elTa 
rfklov Kadapco<; Si,a\d/jLyfravTO^, eir' epya Tpeirofxe- 
vov, TravTa^ov avTW tyj^ ^^XV'^ ^ (TV/i7rapovar)<;, 
fcal Tol<; vfivoi^i, coaTrep dXaTL, irapapTveiv Td<; 
ipyaaia^ ; to yap iXapov Kal dXvirov Trj<; 
^v)(ri^ KaTdaT7]/ia ai twv v/ivcov Trap^jyoplac 
'X^api^ovTat-. 

'ilav)(^La ovv dp)(7] KaOdpcrew^ ttj "^vxV' M'V'^^ 
yXd)TT7j<; XaXova7]<; ra tcov dv6p(07ra)v, pn'jTe 
o^OaXfioiV €vxpoia<; acofidTcov Kal av/jL/ieTpia<; 
irepKTKOTTOvvTWVy fjL7]T6 dKorj<; TOV Tovov Tfj<; yjrv)(r]<; 
€kXvov(77]<; €V aKpodfiacTL fieXcov 7rpo<; i^hovrjv 
7r67roL7)/jLevo)v, fi7]T6 p7]/jLaat,v evTpuTreXcov Kal 
yeXoiaaTMV dvOpdiircdV, o fxaXicTTa Xveiv Trf^ 
yjrvx^l'i "^ov TOVOV 7re(pvK6. vov<; fiev yap firj 

12 



LETTER II 

us the greatest helj), since it calms our passions, and 
gives reason leisure to sever them completely from 
the soul. For just as animals are easily subdued 
by caresses ; so desire, anger, fear and grief, the 
venomous evils which beset the soul, if they are 
lulled to sleep by solitude and are not exasperated 
by constant irritations, are more easily subdued by 
the influence of reason. Therefore let the place of 
retirement be such as ours, so separated from the 
intercourse of men that the continuity of our re- 
ligious discipline may not be interrupted by any 
external distraction. 

The discipline of piety nourishes the soul with 
divine thoughts. What then is more blessed than 
to imitate on earth the anthems of angels' choirs ; 
to hasten to prayer at the very break of day, and 
to worship our Creator with hymns and songs ; then, 
when the sun shines brightly and we turn to our 
tasks, prayer attending us wherever we go, to season 
our labours with sacred song as food with salt ? For 
that state of the soul in which there is joy and no 
sorrow is a boon bestowed by the consolation of 
hymns. 

The very beginning of the soul's purgation is 
tranquillity, in which the tongue is not given to 
discussing the affairs of men, nor the eyes to con- 
templating rosy cheeks or comely bodies, nor the 
ears to lowering the tone of the soul by listening to 
songs whose sole object is to amuse, or to words 
spoken by wits and buffoons — a practice which above 
all things tends to relax the tone of the soul. For 

^ KaTa\pux^^^'''^ ^") ^- ~ /uLUKapiaTOTepov C, ¥j. 

^ \l/vxvs C. 

13 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aK€Sai>vv/jLevo<; eirl ra e^co /jLt]Se inro to)v alaOr)- 
ryjpLcov eVl top Koafiov Bia^^eo/j.ei^os ^ iirdveLaL 
fjL€v 7rp6<; kavTov, hi eavrov Se 7rpb<; rrjv irepl 
©eou evvoiav ava^aivei' KciKeivw rw /cdXXei 
7T6pt,\a/ji7r6fX€v6(i re Kal iXXafi7r6fM€vo<; ^ Kal avTi]<i 
T?}? (f)vaeco<; XyOrjv Xa/x^dver /jLijre Trpo? t/3o^^9 

(ppOVTiSa fJL7]T€ 7TpO<; TT 6 p L [3 oXaiWV fXepi/JLVaV TTJV 

'\jrv)(^r]v KaOeXKOfievo^;, dXXa a)(^oXr]v dirb twv 
jijivcov (^povrihwv dywv, ttjv iraaav eavrov 
aiTOvSrjv iirl rrjv /crrjaLV to)v alojvlcov dyadcop 
IxeraTiOrjai' 7rS)<; [xev KaTopOcoOfj avTU> i) awcppo- 
avvt] Kol 7] dvhpia' 7rco<; Se ?; Si/caioavvi] Kal rj 
(ppovTjcrt^, Kal al XoiTral dperal oaac rat? yevi- 
Kal<; ravrai^ v7roBtaLpovp.evat KaOyjKovrco'^ eKa- 
ara eTrireXelu rcov Kara rov jSlov v7To/3dXXovat 
TOO airovhaiw. 

C I, 

M.€ylaTr) Se oho^; ttdo? tj-jv lov KaOiJKovrof; 
evpeatv Kal ^ i) /xeXerT] rcov OeoTTvevarcov Vpa^oiv. 
iv TavTac<; yap Kal al tmv irpd^ecov vTToOrjKai 
evplaKovrai Kal oi filoi tmv fiaKapicov dvhpcov 
dvdypaiTTOL TrapaBeBo/jtevoi, olov ecKove^; Tive<; 
€fjLyjrv)^oi T7]<; Kara Seov TroXiTeia^, tS /juifiyp^ari 
TMP dyadojv epycov TTpoKeivrac. Kal roivvv irepl 
oirep dv eKacrro^ ev8eoj<; €Xovto<; eavrov aloOdvy- 
rai, eKeivw irpooroLarpi^wv, olov diro nvo'^ kolvov 
larpeiov, ro 7rp6a(f)opov evplaKec rcS appooart^jjiari 
(f)dp/jLaKOV. Kal 6 fxev epaarrj^; r?)? acoc^poavvr)'^ 
rrjv irepl rov 'lcocr7](p laropiav avv€)(0)<; dveXiaraet 
Kal Trap avrov rd<; aoic^povLKa'^ eKBiSdaKerai 
TT/oafet?, eupiaKwv avrov ov piovov eyKparco<; tt/jo? 
r)Sovd<; exovra, dXXd Kal eKriKO)<; 7rpb<: dperrjv 
huaKeipievov. dvhpiav he rraLheverai rrapd rov 
14 



LETTER 11 

when the mind is not dissi{)ated uj)on extraneous 
things, nor diffused over the world about us throu<;h 
the senses, it withdraws witliin itself, and of its own 
accord ascends to the contemplation of God. Then 
wlien it is illuminated without and within by that 
glory, it becomes forgetful even of its own nature ; 
no longer able to drag the soul down to thought of 
sustenance or to concern for the body's covering, 
but enjoying leisure from earthly cares, it transfers 
all its interest to the acquisition of the eternal 
goods — how it may achieve temperance and forti- 
tude, justice and prudence, and all the minor virtues, 
subordinate to these, the major ones, which prompt 
the good man to perform as he should the several 
duties of life. 

A most important path to the discovery of duty 
is also the study of the divinely-inspired Scriptures. 
For in them are not only found the precepts of con- 
duct, but also the lives of saintly men, recorded and 
handed down to us, lie before us like living images 
of God's government, for our imitation of their good 
works. And so in whatever respect each one per- 
ceives himself deficient, if he devote himself to such 
imitation, he will discover there, as in the shop of a 
public physician, the specific remedy for his infirmity. 
The lover of chastity constantly peruses the story of 
Joseph, and from him learns what chaste conduct is, 
finding Joseph not only continent as regards carnal 
pleasures but also habitually inclined towards virtue. 



^ Siacpopovfi^vos C 

- re Koi i\\a/j.ir6/j.€vos om. editi ; non taineu A, 13, C, E, F. 

^ Kal cm. A, B. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

'Ico/3, 09 ov /xovov, 7r/309 TO, ivavrla tov ^iov 
fxeraTreo-ovTOf; avTM, TreV?;? ifc irXovaiov Kal airai^ 
aiTo KaWiiraLho^ iv fxid Kaipov poirfi yevofxevo^, 
htefieLvev o avro^, aTaireivcdTov 7ravTa')(^ov to tt)^ 
yjrvx'l'i "*" 4>p6p7j/jia Siaaoo^coir aXV ovre twv 
(piXwv, Tojv €t? irapajivOiav i)k6vt(ov, €7r€fi^air6v- 

TCdV aVTW KoX (TVV67rCT€Lv6vT(OV TCi d\y€Lvd, TTUp- 

co^vvdy], ttoXlv (TKOiroiv rt? ttw? av 7rpdo<; iv 
ravTO) /cat fJL6<^/ak66vfJLO<^ jevoiro, oyare tm fxev 
6u/j.o) Kara rr]<i d/jLapTia<; K€)(p7]a6aL rf] Be irpao- 
rr]Ti TT/Jo? TOv<; dvOpooTTOv;, evpijaet tov Aa/BiS 
yevvacov fiev iv tol<; kuto, iroXefxov dvSpayad/]- 
fiaai, irpdov he Kal dKLVijTOv iv Tal<^ tmv i^^pojv 
dvTiSoaecn. tolovto^ r)v ^ Kal Mwo-^?, fieydXo) 
fiev Tw OufjLO) KaTa to)v eh (deov i^a/iapTavovTcov 
BtavtaTd/x€ro<:;, Trpaeia he tt) '^v^fj Ta? KaO' eav- 
Tov hia/3o\d<; vTTocpepwv. Kal iravTay^ov, coarrep 
01 ^ayypdxpoL, OTav diro eiKovcov elK6va<;^ ypdcpcoai, 
TTVKvd TT/Qo? TO TTapdheLyfia aTro/SXeTroi'Te?, tov 
iKeWev ')(apaKT7]pa Trpo? to eavTOJV aTTovhd^ovai 
fiCTadelvai (^tXoTe%z^7///,a' ovtco hel Kal tov eairov- 
haKOTa eavTov irdaL Tot9 [lepeai t?}9 dp€T)]<; dir- 
epydaaaOai TeXeiov, olovel irpo^ dydXfiaTa Tiva 
Kivovfieva Kal e/nrpaKTa, toi'9 /3iov<; tmv dyucov 
diroPXeireLV Kal to iKeivwv dyaOov olk€lov iroiel- 
aOat hid [XLjJbrjaew^. 

Eu^at irdXiv Ta9 dvayvd)aei<; hiahex^o/jievat vea- 
pcoTepav Trjv ■yfru^Tjv Kal uKpaioTepav tw 77/909 
(deov TToOw KeKLvy)/j,evi]v TrapaXa/jL^dvovatv. ^vxh 
he KaXi], 7] ivapyi) ifiiroiovcra tov Seov evvotav 
TTj '^v'xfl' f<^cil TovTO icjTL ©eoO ivoLKr]aL<^, TO hid 
Tr}<^ /jLV7]fji7]<; ivihpv/iievov e^eiv iv kavTco tov 0eo^'. 
16 



LETTER II 

Fortitude he learns from Job, who^ -svhen the condi- 
tions of liis hfe were reversed and he became in a 
moment of time poor instead of rich and childless 
when he had been blessed with fair children, 
remained the same, and always preserved his proud 
spirit unhumbled ; nay, even when his friends who 
came to comfort him trampled upon him and helped 
to make his sorrow more grievous, he was not pro- 
voked to wrath. Again, if one considers how he 
may be at once meek and high-tempered, showing 
temper against sin, but meekness towards men, he 
will find David noble in the valiant exploits of war, 
but meek and dispassionate in the matter of requiting 
his enemies. Such too was Moses, who rose up in 
great wrath to oppose those who sinned against 
God, but endured with meekness of spirit all slanders 
against himself. And in general, just as painters 
in working from models constantly gaze at their 
exemplar and thus strive to transfer the expression 
of the original to their own artistry, so too he 
who is anxious to make himself perfect in all the 
kinds of virtue must gaze upon the lives of the saints 
as upon statues, so to speak, that move and act, and 
must make their excellence his own by imitation. 

Prayer, again, following such reading finds the 
soul, stirred by yearning towards God, fresher and 
more vigorous. Prayer is to be connnended, for it 
engenders in the soul a distinct conception of God. 
And the indwelling of God is this — to hold God 
ever in memory, His shrine established within us. 

^ Tis \pvxvs oin. C 

- fjv om. Ed. Ben, ; nou tameii A, B, E. 

^ i\K6vcs ct/cJfa A, B 



17 



VOL. I. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ovTco jLvofJieOa vao<; Seov, orav firj (ppovrlai 
>yr)ivaL<; to avve^^^ Trj<; fjLvr]fjL7j<i BiaKoTTTTjTat, /i?/8e 
TOL<; airpoo-hoKi'^TOi'^ irdOeaiv o vov<; iKTapdrTrjrai, 
aXXd irdvra diro(^vycov 6 (f)i\60eo<; iirl 0eoi/ 
c\vax^pfj> e^ekavvwv rd irpoaKaXovfieva ^ avrov 
€19 aKpaaiav irdOri, Kal ^ rot? 7rpo<; dperrjp dyovaiv 
i7nTT)Sev/jLaaLv ivBiaTpi/Sr]. 

Kat TTpMTov <ye irdprcov airovBd^eiv 7rpoai]K€i, 
irepl Ti]v rov Xoyov p^p^crtz^ fir) d/xadcj^; e-)(^et,v, 
aXV ipcorav /jL€V d^tXoveiKco^, diroKpiveaQaL Be ^ 
d(f)LXoTi/jia)<;, /jlt] hiafcoirTOvra rov TrpoaSiaXeyo- 
fievov, orav n ^^pijaifiov Xeyr], fjn-fhe iiTLdv/jLovvra 
TOP eavTov \6yop i'mheLKTLKW'^ Trape/jb/SdWeiP, fie- 
Tpa opi^ovTa \6y(p Kal aKofj- papddpeiv he dv- 
eiTai(j')(ypTW^ kgI BihdcrKeiP dp€7rL(f)d6p(o<;' Kal el 
Trap' eTepov BeSlSaKTai,, fii] iirLKpuTTTeip * oiairep 
al (pavXai tcop yvpaiKoyv, al Ta poOa uiro^aWo- 
fxepar dWd KrjpvaraeLP evypwfiopco^; top iraTepa 
rov \6yov. topo^ he (hwpi)^ 6 fjLeao<; 7rpoTi,/jLi]Teo^, 
ft)9 fjLi]Te hLa^evyeiP ttjp dKorjp vtto aiiiKpoTrjTO'^ 
/jLi]Te (popTiKOP elpai tw fieyeOei t?}? hiaTdaeco^. 
irpoe^eTdaavTa ep eavTO) to pTjOrjcrouepop, ovto) 
S7]/jL0cnev€LP top Xoyop. euTrpoatjyopop ep rat? 
ePTev^eat, yXvKVP ep Tal<; 6/JLiXiat<;, ou Bid t^9 
evT paireXia^; to rjBv OrjpcoiJepop, dXXd Bed t% 
€v/jLepov<; TrapaKXyaeco^ to irpoarjpe^; exoPTa, 
TraPTaxov to Tpaxv, f^cip eTTLTififjaai Bejj, dirwOov- 
piepop. IT poKaTa^aXojp yap eavTOP Bed TarreLPO- 
(f)poavpr]<^y ovTa)<; evirapdheKTO^ ear] t(o Beopihw 

^ ■npoKaXovfxiva A, B, E. 

^ avrhv . . . Koi tj/jlus (Is KOKiav A, B, E. 



LETTER II 

We thus become temples of (Jod whenever earthly 
cares cease to interrupt the continuity of our memory 
of Him, whenever unforeseen passions cease to dis- 
turb our minds, and the lover of God, escaping them 
all, retires to God, driving out the passions which 
tempt him to incontinence, and abides in the 
practices which conduce to virtue. 

And, first of all, one should take heed not to be 
boorish in conversation, but to ask questions without 
contentiousness, and answer without self-display ; 
neither interrupting the speaker when he is saying 
something useful, nor being eager to interject his 
own words for the sake of ostentation, but observing 
moderation both in speaking and in listening. One 
should not be ashamed to learn, nor should he 
grudge to teach ; and if one has learned something 
from another, one should not conceal the fact, as 
degraded wives practise concealment when they 
palm off bastard children as their own, but one should 
candidly acknowledge the father of his idea. The 
middle tone of voice is to be preferred, neither so 
soft as to elude the ears, nor so loud and strong as 
to be vulgar. One should first reflect upon what 
one is going to say, and then deliver one's speech. 
One should be affable in conversation and agreeable 
in social intercourse, not resorting to wit as a means 
of gaining popularity, but depending upon the charm 
which comes from gracious politeness. On all 
occasions abjure asperity, even when it is necessary 
to administer a rebuke ; for if you first abase yourself 
and show humility, you will easily find your way to 



•' Ka orn. editi ; non tamen A, B, C, E, F 
' iTriKpumSasyou C, E. 



19 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

T% OepaTTeia'^' iToWdKL<^ he 'XPW^H'^^ ^)im,v koX 
6 Tov TTpocf^tjrov rpoTTO^; rrjf; e'7Ti7TXi]^60)<;, 09 rw 
Aa/SlS ajjiapTOVTL ov Trap* eavrov i7n]<yay€ tov 
opov T?)? KaTaBLKi]<;, a\X' viro^oXf) irpoacoTTOv 
')(^py]adp€vo<;, avrov ifcelvov tov ISlov BcKacrrijp ^ 
ifcdOtaev dpbapTrjfjLaTO^' ware avrbv KaO' eavrov 
Trpoe^eveyKovra T7]v Kpiaiv p,riSev eTC pep^aaOai 
TOV eXey^avTa. 

''KTrerat Be tw Taireivcp kol KaTeffefiXrjp^evM 
^pov/]paTi ojjiiia GTvyvov kol eU yrjv avvvevevKo^;, 
a')()]p,a TjpeXijpevov, Koprj av-)(^fn]pd, ea67]<; pvircoaa' 
wcrre a ttolovctlv ol 7rev0ovvT€<; KaT eirLTi^hevaiv, 
TavTa ifc tov avTopbaTOv i)plv einc^aiveadaL. 
'X^iTcov Sid ^(t)vy]<^ 7TpGaeaTaXp.evo<i tS ad)p.aTr to 
fjuevTOi ^coapa p-yjre dvco tcov Xayovcov, yvvaiKcoSe^; 
ydp' py]T€ 'X,^vvov, ware Siappelv tov ^^Tcova, 
/3\aKLKov ^ ydp' koI to /3dSiap,a /xjjre vwOpov, 
0)9 efcXvcnv t?}? "^i^XV^ KaTijyopelv, pi'qK av a(f)0- 
hpov Kal aeaoj^ripievov, &)9 eprrXi^KTOV^ avTi']<; Ta9 
oppid,^ vTTo^aiveiv. aKO'7To<; eaOrjTO^ eh, KoXvpipa 
elvat aapK0<; 7rpo<; xetpcova Kal 6epo<; avTap/ce<;' 
pit]Te he ev ;i^/DcoyxaTf to dvOrjpov htcoKea-dco pn^Te ev 
TTj KaTaaKevfj to XeiTTOV Kal paXuKov to ydp 
Ta9 iv eaOrjTL ev^poia^; irepLCFKOTrelv Xaov earl 
yuvacKeUp KaXXcoTTio-po), ov eKelvai eTrcTTjheuovaw, 
dXXorplfp dvOei iTapeid<; Kal T/?t;^a9 eavTcov Kara- 

^ KplTT)V A, B. - ^XaiTTlKhv E. 

20 



LETTER II 

the heart of him who needs your ministrations. We 
also frequently find useful the method of rebuke 
employed by the prophet/ who did not of himself 
set a definite penalty on David when he sinned, but 
employed a fictitious character and constituted David 
judge of his own sin ; so David first pronounced 
jud<:fment against himself, and after that could not 
find any fault with his censor. 

The humble and abject spirit is attended l)y a 
gloomy and downcast eye, neglected appearance, 
unkempt hair, and dirty clothes - ; consequently the 
characteristics which mourners effect designedly are 
found in us as a matter of course. The tunic should 
be drawn close to the body by a girdle ; but let the 
belt not be above the flank, for that is effeminate, 
nor loose, so as to let the tunic slip through, for that 
is slovenly ; and the stride should be neither sluggish, 
which would argue a laxity of mind, nor, on the 
other hand, brisk and swaggering, which would 
indicate that its impulses were rash. As for dress, 
its sole object is to be a covering for the flesh 
adequate for winter and summer. And let neither 
brilliancy of colour be sought, nor delicacy and soft- 
ness of material ; for seeking after bright colours 
in clothing is on a parity with women's practice of 
beautifying themselves by tinting their cheeks and 
dyeing their hair with artificial lustre. However, 

^ Cf. 2 Samuel 11 and 12. David committed adultery with 
Bethsabee, and caused her husband, Urias, to be slain, that 
he might marry Bethsabee and so conceal his sin. The 
prophet Nathan assumed a similar crime, and caused David 
unwittingly to pronounce judgment against himself. 

2 The mark of the old pagan philosophers. Cf. Aristoph., 
Birds, 1282, ippvvwv, iawKparuv, " they were dirty, they were 
like Socrates." 

21 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

/Sdirrovaai. dXXa fiijv koX 7ra)(VT7]To<^ ovtco<; 
e^^iv 6 ^iTcoi^ o^eiket a)<; firj helaOaL koivwvov 
TTpo? TO OaXiTeiv rov ivSuo/xevov. viro^i-j^a he to 
eureXe? fJiev kutol rr/j^ d^iav, dvevSe(o<; Be tyjv 
Xpelav dTTOirkrjpovv. 

Kal dira^airXod^;, co? ev tw ivSv/iaTi rjyeladaL 
iTpoai^Kei TO ')(p€L(oSe<;, ovtco koI ev Tpo^fj dpTo<; 
eKirkiiocoaei Trjv ')(^peiav kol vScop OepaTrevaeL 
Ti]V Btyjrav tw vyLaivovTi Kal oaa Ik (TirepfLCLTcov 
TrapQ-yjrij/xaTa TTyoo? Ta? dvayKaLa<; ')(^peia<; T'i]V 
lo-)(iJv TO) (joifxaTL BvvaTat Btacrcoo-aaOai. iaOletv 
Be /uL7j XvaacoBr) yacrTpifiapyiav ifxcfyaLvovTa, dWd 
iravTaxov to euaTaOe<; Kal irpdov Kal irepl Ta<; 
i)Bova<^ eyKpaTe<; Biaaco^ovTW /jbr/Be Tore tov vovv 
dpyov ev ttj irepl Seov evvoia e-^ovTa, dXx! avTi]v 
TOiv ^pcofMUTcov Tr}v (pvaiv Kal Tr)v tov vTToBe^^o- 
fievov a(t)fxaT0<; KaTaaKevrjV d(j)op/jLTjv irotelaOai 
Bo^oXoyia^' tto)'^ rroLKiXa etBrj Tpocpcov tt} IBlottjti 
T(x)v aoi/jLUTCov dpfjLo^ovTa IT a pa tov TrdvTa oIkovo- 
fjLovvTO^ e7rivev6i]Tai,. ev^cil irpo r?}? TpocpT]^; 
d^La)(i yiveaOcocrav tcov tov Seov 7rapo)(^cov, oyv ts 
vvv BiBcoaL, Kal ojv irpo^ to fieWov eTafiLevaaTO. 
evxcil /jieTa Tpo^rjv ^ evxapLdTiav tmv BeBo/xevcov 
e^ovaai Kal a^LTrjaiv tcov eTrrjyyeX/jLevcov. wpa 
fjila Tpo(prj<; diroTeTaypbevr], rj avTrj KaTa irepioBov 
aTravTwaa' d)<i €k tcov e'lKoat Tecradpcov copojv 
tov rj/iepovvKTLOv fJLiav elvai fJLoXt^ ^ TavTi]v ttjv 
irpoaavaXiaKOixevrfv tw acofiaTL, Td<; Be Xoi,7rd<; 
ev TT) KaTCL vovv evepyelci ^ diraa'X^oXeladaL * tov 

d(JK7)Tl]v. 

^ rpoipas C, E. 2 ^(^;^tj om. A, B, F. 



LETTER II 

tlie tunic ought to be of such thickness that it will 
require no auxiliary garment to keep the wearer 
warm. The sandal should be inexpensive, yet 
completely adequate to one's needs. 

And in general, just as one should consider 
practical utility in the matter of clothing, so too, 
in the matter of food, bread will satisfy actual needs, 
water will cure the thirst, if one is healthy, and 
there are besides all the dishes of vegetables and 
fruits that help to preserve the body's strength for 
inevitable needs. And one should not exhibit frantic 
gluttony in eating, but on all occasions should pre- 
serve composure, gentleness, and restraint as regards 
the pleasures of the palate. And not even at table 
should one allow the mind to be unoccupied with 
thoughts of God, but one should make the very 
nature of the food and the structure of the body 
that receives it an occasion for His glorification. 
What varied forms of nutriment suited to the 
peculiarity of bodies have been conceived by Him 
who dispenseth all things ! Before meals let prayers 
be said worthy of the bounties which God both gives 
now and has stored up for the future. After meals 
let prayers be said that include thanksgiving for the 
gifts received, and petitions for those promised. 
Let one hour, the same regularly each day, be set 
aside for food, so that out of the twenty-four hours 
of day and night, barely shall this one be expended 
on the body, the ascetic devoting the remainder to 
the activities of the mind. 



^ ipyaaij. A, B. 

* avaaxoM^v C ; anorX-qpovv 



23 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

"TiTVOi he Kov(f)Oi Koi evaTrdWaKTOL, cpvaiKcof; 
dfcoXovOovvT€<; tw avfi/ierpo) ■^ tt}? hLairri^' Kar 
eiTirrjhev(7iV Se ral^ irepl TOiV fxeydXcav fj-epifivai^; 
ScaKOTTTO/jievoL. TO 'yap ^aOel Kdpw Kara/cpa- 
relaOai, Xvopevcov avrov ^ rwv peXwv, ware 
a')(^o\r]v dXoyoL^ ^ (pavraaLai^ 7rape)(eiv, iv KaO- 
ripepLV(p Oavdrw iroiel tov<; ovtw KaOevhovra^. 
dW" oirep T0t9 dWoL<; 6 opOpo^ earl, tovto rot? 
daKTjral^ t?}? €vcre^eLa<; ro pbecrovvKTiov, p,d\L(Tra 
a-^oXrjV rfj ^vxjj r/}? jwKTepiVTJ^; i)av)(^ia<^ ')(api^o- 
pL€V7](;, ovT€ ocfyOaXpcjv ovre oiTOiV /3Xa/3€pa<; 
dKod<i T) 6ea<; iirl Kaphiav irapaTrepLTrovTcov, dWd 
povov KCiO'' eavTov rov vov rw Sew avv6vT0<;, Kal 
Swp6ovpevov pbev eavrov ^ rf) p^vijprf tmv ijpaprr)- 
p€V(ov, 6pov<; Be eavrw riOevro^ irpo^; riiv eKKXicnv 
rov Ka/cov, teal Tr)v irapd Seov avvepyiav et? Tr)v 
reXeicoaiv tmv airovSat^opevoiv e'nii^rjTovvTO<i. 



Ill 

"Ore 649 %et/)a9 eXa/Sov ryjv eTno-ToXijv aov, eira- 
66v TL dKOi)^ d^iov. evXaprjOrjv avTrjv w? ti 
BrjpoaLov TrpoaayyeXXovaav, Kal TTap* ov e^eXvov 
KCiipov Tov /crjpov, icpo^ovprjv irpoa^XeTrcov,^ co? 
ovSel<i iv aiTiaif; ojv ^TrapTidri'i^ AaKcovLKr)v 

^ AfTTT." C, F, Ed. Ben. ; crvfi/xfTpcf A, B, £, F in marg. 
^ avT(f F. ^ CLToirois A B. 

* eV add. C, E. ^ irpofiXeiruv C, D. 

24 



LETTER III 

Sleep should be liirlit and easily broken, sucli as 
naturally follows a moderate diet ; and it should be 
interrupted deliberately by meditations on high 
themes. For to be overcome by heavy torpor^ in 
which the limbs are relaxed and play is given to 
foolish fantasies, causes those who sleep in this 
fashion to experience a daily death. On the con- 
trary, what is cock-crow for the rest of men is 
midnight for the practisers of piety, when the quiet 
of night grants most leisure to the soul, when 
neither the eyes nor the ears conduct harmful 
sounds or sights to the heart, but the mind alone 
with itself communes with God, corrects itself 
through the recollection of past sins, sets up its 
barriers to ward off evil, and seeks God's aid for the 
consummation of its lonocinffS. 



LETTER III 

To Candidianus ^ 

When I received your letter, I experienced a 
feeling that is worthy of your hearing. I stood 
in awe of it, as if it brought some state announce- 
ment, and while I broke the seal, I shuddered at 
the sight of it as no guilty Spartan ever did at 



^ Placeil at the beginning of Basil's retirement to Pontus, 
and written to a governor of Cappadocia, who was a close 
friend to Basil and to Gregory of Nazianzus. 

25 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

a/cvrdX')]!'. eVel Se eXvaa, Kal irdvO' ^ eKaara 
iire^rjXOov, yeXdaai fioi eirrjXOe, tovto fiev v(j>' 
vihovrj^, rod }xr]6ev aKovaav vecorepov, tovto Se 
7r/309 TO, Ai]/jLoadevov<; ra aa KpivavTC. otl 6 fiev, 
eTreLSr] 6\iyoi<; Tial 'x^opevTaU Kal av\')]TaL<; 
€XOpi]y€i,, ovKETi rj^LOV Ari/ioadev7]<;, ciWa X^P^l' 
70? ovo/jLci^eadac' aij he 6 avTo<; el, /cal ')(opi]'yo}v 
Kal pLy] (x^prjycov puipToi TrXeLoat ^ pLvpidac aTpa- 
TLcoTMV y) 6o-0L<; dvhpdaiv iK€ivo<; 7rap6(T')(^6 to, 
eTriTrjheia), 09 76 ov6^ rjpLLV diro tov cr^?JyLtaTO? 
eVto-reX-Xei?, dWd top elcoOoTa Tpoirov Kal r?)? 
irepl \6yov<; crTrofS?}? ovSev vcftUaat, dXXd to tov 
Ti\dTWV0<^, iv %et/>6wi^i Kal ^dXrj ^ irpaypidTWVj 
olov vTTo Tei'X,'^i * TLvl KapTepu) diro(TTd<i, ovBevo^; 
Oopvfiov TTjv '^v')(^r]v dvaiTLpLifkaaai' pboXkov Se 
ovhe erepou? 6^9,^ to ye aavTOv pLepo<;. 

Kal TCI puev ad TOtavTa,^ peydXa Kal OavpacTTa 
Tol<; avvopav Svvapevoi^;, Kal ttoXlv ov OavpaaTa " 
Tw 7r/309 Trjv oXrjv irpoalpecnv tov fiiov KplvovTL. 
uKove Sr] Kal ra rjpieTepa, irapdho^d re ovTa Kal 
dKo\ovd(o<i rjpLLv oLTravTcovTa. 

^Av7}p Tt9 dypoLKO<; twv avvoLKOvvTwv rjpLtv iv 
*Avvi]aoL<;,^ oiKeTOv pov TeXevT ija avTO<;, ov avpufio- 

1 nrdve" om. A, Ed. Ben. ; non taraen B, C, D, E, F. 

2 TTAet'om A, B, F. 3 y_a\dCT] A, B. 
* Terxo's Ti Kaprepou A, B, C, D. 

^ ovT€ 6opv0ovs add. E, F. 

^ ovTw add. A, B al. m., C, D, F. 

' Tots (Tvuopav ... oil daufxaara om. E. 

8 'AvvlaoLS B, C, 1), F. 

^ The staff around which a strip of leather was rolled 
slantwise. The message was written lengthwise thereon, so 

26 



LETTER III 

the Laconian skyiah'-.^ But wlien I opened it, and 
had read it all carefully, I began to laugh, partly 
through the joy of finding nothing alarming, and 
partly in comparing your situation with that of 
Demosthenes. You are aware that wlien he acted 
as choregus to some few dancers and flute-players, 
he asked to be called no longer Demosthenes, 
but Choregus.- You, on the other hand, are the 
same, whether acting as choregus or not — although 
you so provide for more myriads of soldiers than 
is the number of the persons to whom Demosthenes 
furnished their requirements — since you do not 
write to us according to your station, but in your 
usual manner. And you have in no way given uj) 
your love of letters. Nay, as Plato ^ says, in a very 
*• storm and surge " of affairs you "withdraw under 
the shelter of a strong wall," as it were, and 
contaminate your soul by no disturbance — or rather, 
I should say, you do not suffer others, either, to 
do this, so fiir as in you lies to prevent it. ; 

Such is your conduct ; to those who are able 
to take it in, it seems great and wonderful ; and 
yet it is not wonderful to one who can judge it 
with reference to the whole purpose of your life. 
Listen now to my story, which is incredible and yet 
actually occurred to us. It is as follows. 

One of my servants died ; a boorish fellow of our 
community of Annesi, without making known that 

that when the leather was unrolled the writing became 
unintelligible. The recipient was supposed to have a 
similar staff around which he could roll the leather strip 
and thereby read it. This device was used by the Spartans 
for messages of state. 

- Plutarch, Mor. 817 C {Prac. Gcr. Reijnib.). 

3 Jiej>. VI. 10. 

27 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

\aiov TL TT/oo? avTov eiTTODV^ 6(7)^7] K€vai, oi)^ iTpoaeX- 
Ocov /loi, ovK i7racTiaadfjL€vo<;, ov rrap 6k6vto<; 
d^icoaa<; Xa^elv, ovk diT6L\i]aa^ el ixrj Xd/Bot, 
^uiaaaOai, dOpoov ^ fierd tlvwv o/iolcov avTw rrjv 
diTovoLav e7Ti6eiievo<i 7]fiMv rr) olfcia, rd re yvvaia 
rd (pvXdrTOVTa avverpi-dre Tvirrcov, Kal Karappyj- 
^a? Td<; 6vpa<i €^€(j)6p'}](T€v diravra, rd [lev avTo^ 
Xa/3(ov, rd Be ei? SLapTrayrjv tol<; ^ovXojjLevoi^ 
irpoOeiS' 

"\v ovv fii] 6 ea')(ciTO<; 6po<; rjp^eU tt}? da0ev€ia<; 
MjJLev Kol TravrX S6^a>fiev e7riTi]SeioL tt/jo? eVi- 
')(eip7]cnv, rjv ev Trdai roh Trpdy/jLaaiv ^ i)fJLWV 
aTTOvBrjv eiTiheheL^ai, kol vvv elaeveyKaaOai 
7rapafcXi]dr)Ti. pl6vw<; ydp dv i)/iiv ovtco to 
dirpay/jiov crcofotro, el rw au) BpaaT)]pL(p ^ aw 
rerayfievoi ehjfiev. yevoiTo 8' dv i^filv dpKovaa 
hiKYj, el Sid Tov 7raydp)(ov avXX')](f)d€l<s ev tm Sea- 
/jLoyrrjpLM Ppa')(^vv KarafcXeiaOeiij ')(p6vov. Kal 
ydp ovx virep cjv TreirovOa/jLev dyavatcrovfiev 
/jlovov, dXXd fcal r?}? 7r/)09 to Xolttov d(j(^aXeia<^ 
SeofieOa. 

IV 

^OXvfMTTLM 

Ola TTOieU, oi Oavfjidcne, ti]V (J)lX7]v rjfjLLV ireviav 
Kal (f)LXoao(j)ia<; rpo^ov t?)? ea^ajid^ direXavvwv ; 

^ ejTTwv om. E, F. 2 oh om. A, B. 

^ aOpows E. * irpoffTayuaaiv Yi. 

^ BiKaffTTqpiev C. 

About 358. Olympius was a wealthy layman of 
28 



LETTER IV 

ne had had a contract witli him, without coming 
to me about it, "without putting in a claim, without 
demanding payment, although I was ready to pay, 
without threatening violence if he were not paid, 
of a sudden, with certain desperadoes like himself, 
attacked my house, beat and pounded the women- 
servants who guarded it, then broke down the 
doors, and carried off everything, taking some of the 
articles with his own hands, and offering the rest as 
plunder to whoever wished for them. 

Now, in order that I may not be the very extreme 
of impotence, and that I may not seem to everybody 
a fair object of attack, pray bring now that zeal to 
bear which you have hitherto shown in all my affiiirs. 
For my tranquillity can only be preserved by my 
being placed under your efficient protection. As far 
as I am concerned, the culprit's punishment would 
be sufficient only if he were arrested by the district 
magistrate and locked up in jail for a short time. 
For I am not only indignant at what I have suffered, 
but I am also in need of security for the future. 



LETTER IV 

To Olympius^ 

What do you mean, my dear Sir, by trying to 
drive my dear friend Poverty, nurse of philosophy, 
away from my retreat .' In my opinion she would 

Xeocaesarea, and an influential friend and trusted sympa- 
thizer to Basil in his later troubles. Basil here very cleverlj- 
thanks him for certain gifts, while pretending to object 
to the receiving of such worldly tilings in his seclusion. 

29 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

olfxac 'yap civ ae Kal e^ov\r}<; ypa(f)i]V utt' auTr]<; 
cj)€vy6iv, eLTi<; avrfj TrpoayevoiTO X6yo<;' ore tovtm ^ 
avvoLKelv eiXo/jirjv iyoo vvv fiev tov Zijvcova inat- 
vovvTL, 09 vavayiw iravra airoffaXcbv ovSev ayevvh 
€0(9 67 faro, aXX*, €vy6, elirev, w ti;%?;,^ avvekav- 
veL<; i)iJLa'^ et? to rpi^coviov, vvv Se tov IsSkedvOriv 
fiLaOo) vScop TOV <^/3eaT09 aTravrXoviira, oOev avro^; 
T€ Sii^i] Kal ToU BiSacTKaXoL^ /jiia6ov<; virereXei. 
TOV he Aioyev^jv ovBe eiravaaTo ttots Oav/xd^cov toI<; 
irapa Trj<i c^ucreo)? fjL6voL<^ dpKelaOai (ptXoTLfxov/J.evov, 
ot)9 /cal TO Ktcrcrv^LOV cLTroppl^ai, eTreihrjirep irapa 
7raiSo<i iSiSd'^d')] KOikai^ rat? 'X^epalv iTnKVTTTCJV ^ 
TTiveLV. TavTa dv aoi Kal to, TOLauTa rj avvoiKO<; 
rj/jLLV * irevia /jL€/.fylraiTo, Tal^ /jLeyaXoScopeal^; 
i^oLKiaOelaa vvv. TrpoaOeir) he Kal direLXrjv Tiva' 
OTi, el ae evTavOa irdXtv Xd^oifMi, ^iKeXiKijv i) 
^iTaXiOiTLV Tpv(f)T]v diTohei^w tcl irpoTepa' ovtco ae 
dKpLfi(t)<^ Tot? Trap ifiavT)]'; d/ivvov/jLat. 

Kal Tavra fiev 8i] ToiavTa. i]aOr]v Se 
aKovaa^ rjp')(6ai ae t% Oepaireia^ V^^h '^^^ 
ev^ofxai ae ovaaOai avTrj<^. TrpeiTOL 8' dv ttj lepd 
aov '^v^fj aXuTTO? iimipeaia a<J0/j,aT0<;. 

^ TovTCf : add. /xev A, B, C. 
^ rvxv : add. oti C. 

^ CyKVTTTODV A, B, C 

' 7}ixiv [i fr. u>) F ; T],uiu A, B, C, K ; tjixwv Ed. Ben. 
30 



LETTER IV 

prosecute you -with an action for ejectment, if 
she could acquire the power of speech. She would 
probably say, " 1 chose to live with Basil because 
he at one time praises Zeno, who, on losing all 
in a shipwreck, uttered no ignoble word, but only 
' Bravo, Fortune ! You lend a hand in driving me 
into the philosopher's cloak ; ' ^ and because at 
another time he praises Cleanthes, who drew water 
from a well - for hire and thereby procured liis 
means of livelihood and money to pay his teachers' 
fees. As for Diogenes, Basil never ceased admiring 
him, the philosopher who was so set upon being 
content with nothing but the gifts of nature that 
he even threw away his drinking-cup, after he 
had learned from a boy how to bend over and 
drink from the hollow of his hands." In some such 
manner my housemate. Poverty, might chide you 
for having driven her at this time from my house 
by your munificence. And she might even add 
some such threat as this : ^"^ If I catch you here 
again, I will show your past life to have been of 
Sicilian or Italian luxury, so relentlessly will I pay 
you off by the means at my command." 

But I have written enough in this strain. I 
am glad to hear that you have already begun the 
course of treatment, and I pray that you will derive 
benefit from it. It would befit your holy soul that 
the service rendered by your body should be without 
pain. 

^ Later adopted by the monks. Cf. Luciaii, Pcreg. 15 ; and 
Synesius, Ep. 147. 

2 Cleanthes was also called Phreantlus (<f>pe'ai/TAos), "one 
who draws from a well." Cf. Val. Max. viii. 7 ; Sen. 
Ep. 44. 

31 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

V 

NeKTapiw 7rapa/jLvd't]TiK7] ^ 

OvTTco €i')^ov rpiT'Tjv J] rerdprrjv rjfiepav 7r\r]yelf; 
iirl rf) uKofj rod a^opi]Tov 7rdOov<; fcal en dfi^l- 
^o\o<; Mv Sid TO fJLTjS'e aa<^(t)<^ SvvrjOrjvai rj/jilv rcov 
dviapwv TOP /jL7]vvt7]v to (Tv/ji/3dv BL7]yrjaaa6ai, kol 
TcG d'TrevX'^crOaL uXtjOtj elvai BvaTrapaBifCTco'; e-ywv 
iTpo<^ Ta OpvWovfxeva, iBe^dfirjv ypd/jL/jLa ^ tov 
eirLaKoiTOV dKpi^M<; o-rjpLOiVOv ^ ttjv direvKTrjv 
dyyeXlav. e^' c5 oaov fiev iaTeva^a kol oaov 
d(f)7]Ka Sdfcpvop, Ti xph ^^'' X^yeiv ; koX yap rt? 
oi/Tft) XlOlvo<; T7]V KapStav rj e^co iravTeXco^; Trj<; 
dvOpcoTTLvrj^; ^ucreco? wcrre diraSo)'^ eveyKetv to 
avfi/Sdv i) /JL€Tpi(p irddei ^ TrjV '>^v')(r)v KUTa- 

OtKOv XajjLiTpoi) ^ SLaSo)(^7], epeiafxa yevov^, 
iraTpiSo^ eX.7rt?, yoveoiv €vae/3ojv l3\daT7]fia vtto 
fjivpiai<^ €V)(al<; ivTpa(j)€v, iv avTw tw dvOet, Trj<; 
rj\LKLa<; mv,^ eK fxeaov tmv TraTpiKMV ')(eipMV 
dvapiraaOeh 0L)(€TaL. tuvtu irolav dSd/jLavT0<; 
(fivaiv ovx ifcavd ifcXvaat Kal eU avfjuirdOeLav 
dyayelv ; coaTe ovSev p^eya, el Kal tj/jUmv Sid 
^ddov<; ijyjraTO to KaKov, oXoKXfjpco^ ef dp-)(rj<i 
irpoaTTe^VKOTWv vfuv Kal Td<; tg €v(j)poavva^ 
vfia>p Kal Td<; Xvira^ ISla^ eavTcov Trocovfjievcov. 

^ N€KTap((f -rrapa/jLvOriTiicrj inl T(f viy C ; irphs 'NfKTa.piov rhv 
vlov airo^aXovTa U, F. 

^ ypajxixaTO. B. ^ (Ti]fji.aivovTa B. 

* fxeTpiuiraOTj B, C, D, F. ^ \afnrpa C, D. 

^ ov Ed. Ben. ; non tamen A, B, C, I), F. 

32 



LETTER V 

LETTER V 

To Neitahius, in Consolation ^ 

It was not yet the third or fourth day after I had 
been shocked by the news of your intolerable 
misfortune, and I was still in perplexity because 
the bearer of the distressing message was unable to 
tell clearly all that had happened, and so earnestly 
was I praying that it might not be true that I 
was reluctant to give ear to the common report, 
when I received a letter from the bishop which 
fully disclosed the sad tidings. How greatly I 
mourned thereat, and what tears I shed, why need 
I tell ? For who is so stony of heart or so entirely 
without human feeling as to endure such a blow 
with complete indifference, or to experience in soul 
but a moderate grief? 

The heir of an illustrious house, the buhvark 
of his race, the hope of his fatherland, the offspring 
of pious parents, a lad nurtured amid countless 
prayers, in the very flower of youth — he is gone, 
torn from the very arms of his parents. Is there 
a Jieart of adamant that such things would not 
melt and draw to a feeling of compassion ? It 
is therefore no strange thing that your misfortune 
deeply touched us also, who from the beginning 
have been wholly attached to you, and have made 
your joys and griefs our very own. And yet 

1 Circa 3.18. Tilleniont, probably correctly, identifies this 
Nectarius with the futiire bishop of Constantinople (881- 
397), successor of St. (iregory Nazianzen and predecessor of 
St. John Chrysostom. He appears as St. Nectarius in the 
Orthodox Menaion for 11 October. Cf. Letter V'l, p. 4<t, note 1 . 

33 
VOL. I. n 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fcatTOi'ye iBoKei, rov ye fi^XP^ '^^^ irapovTO^; XP^' 
vov, oXiya elvai ra Xvirovvra v/jLd<;, ev toI<; 
TrXe/cTTOi? 3e Kara povv vfilv ra Trpdy/jLara 
(pepeaOac aXV aOpow;, /Sao'/cavia Sac/xoz^o?, irdaa 
eKeivrj rod olkov ^ i) evOrjvia koI rcov i/rf^^coi^ ^ r) 
(f)atBp6T)]<; rj<f)dvL(TTai,, /cal iyevofieda rw ^iw 
Si7]yT]/jLa cTKvOpcoTrov. eav fiev ovv rrorvLdaOac 
iirl Tot? avfji^dai /cal haKpveiv ^ovXco/xeOa, ouk 
i^apKeaec rjfiiv 6 ^/joz^o? rod ^lov irdvre'^ Se 
avOpcoTTOL fieO' i)p.S)v (jrevovre^ 7raptcro)aai tco 
irdOet Tov oSvp/iov ov Swijaovraf dXXd kolv tcl 
Tojv TTorafjLCOV pevfxara ^ haKpvov yeinjrai, i/c- 
irXrjpoxiai rcov av/ji/SdvTCOv rov Oprjvov ovk 
i^apKeaei. 

'YjClv fxevTOL OeXijcrcofiep to rod Qeov Bojpov o 
ivaireOero iv ^ rat? Kaphiai<^ tj/jlcjv irpoeveyKelv 
vifv TOV Xoyiafiov Xeyco rov (T(o(j)pova, 09 Kal iv 
raL<; evrj/xepiaL'; jxerpa olSe raU yp-vxat'i rj/jLMv 
opi^eiv, Kal ev ra2<; Karr}(f)€o-repaL<i Trepiardaeaiv 
eU VTTOfxvyjaLV dyeiv rcov dvOpodirivwv Kal vtto- 
^dXXeiv ij/jLLV a re elhop,ev, d re r]Kovaaixev, on 
yefxei o /3t09 rojv rot-ovrcov rraOwv, Kal ttoWcl rwv 
dvOpcoTTLVwv (Tvp(f)op(t)v €(7rl rd vTToSeLjfjLara, Kal 
€7rl Trdacv, on rrpoaraypia Seov earl ro /jli] 
Xvire'laOai errl roL<; K€KOipLiifxivoL<; rov<^ et? l^picr- 
rov ireiTLarevKora'^, hid ri]v eXiriha rrj<; dvacrrd- 
creo)?, Kal on rrj<; ixeydXri<^ v7rofjLOV)j<; fieydXoi 
irapd rM dOXoOerrj arec^avoi So^tj^ diroKeivrar 
eav eTTtrpeyp-co/jLev tgo XoyLa/jLM ravra tj/jlIv Kareir- 



^ ixdi'ov add. A, B, C, D. ^ ^^j, i^yjj^ii/ oni. A, B, C, D. 
^ rh . . . pevfiara A, B, C, 1). 



34 



LETTER V 

hitherto at least it has always seemed that your 
griefs were few in number, and that for the most 
part your affairs ran smootlily with tlie stream ; 
but suddenly, through the malice of tlie devil/ all 
that happiness of home and that gladness of heart 
has been swept away, and our wdiole life has become 
a dismal tale. If, therefore, we would indulge in 
protestations and in tears because of what has 
happened, the span of our lives will not suffice ; 
and though all mankind should mourn with us, 
they will not be able to match our sorrow with 
their lamentation ; nay, even if the waters of the 
rivers should become tears,- they would not suffice 
to satisfy our grief for what has happened. 

If, however, we wish to make use of God's gift, 
which He has implanted within our hearts, we siiall 
be comforted. By His gift I mean that sober 
reason, which knows how, both in fair weather to 
keep our souls within bounds, and, when the sky 
is more cloudy, to remind us of the lot of man, 
suggesting to us (what we have already both seen 
and heard) that life is full of such afflictions, that 
tlie examples of human misfortune are many, and 
above all, that it is God's command that those 
Avho put their trust in Christ shall not grieve for 
those who have been laid to rest, because of their 
liope of the resurrection, and again, that for great 
endurance great crowns of glory await us at the 
hands of the Judge. If, then, we permit reason 
to whisper to us these reminders, perchance we 

Cf. Luke 13. 1( 
2 Cf. Lam. 2. 18. 



eV om. Ed. Ben. ; non tamen A, B, C, D. 

D 2 



35 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aheLv, Taya av evpoifiev jiva [xerpiav rod kukov 
Xvaiv. 8tb TTapa/caXaj ae o)? jevvalov aywviarrjv 
GTr)vai 7Tpo<; ro fieyeOo'^ tt}? 7r\7/7?}?, /cal /jltj 
viTOTTeaelv rw /Scipec t?)? Xuttt;?, purj^e KaTairoOfjvaL 
TT)v -^v^^yjv, ifcelvo TreTreiapbivov, on kolv ol XoyoL 
TCdv irapa 0eoi) OLfcovofiovpLepcov Si,a<p6vycoaiv 
r)fia^, aWa iravTO)^ ye to irapa rov ao(f>ov Kal 
dyaTrcovTO^; rjpia^ olKovofjLi]Oev aTToSefcrov ian, 
KOLV eTTLTTOvov fj . avTo^ yap olhe irw^ eKaarfp 
Siaridijai, to avji^epov Kal Sia tl civiaa TiOrjaiv ^ 
ijpuv Tov /3lov TCL irepara. ecrrc yap rt? alria 
dvOpcoTTOL^ dKaTaXt]7rT0^, Bi* tjv ol piev Odrrov 
ivrevOev dirdyovTai, ol he eirl ifkelov irpocna- 
XaiTTCdpelv T(p ohvvrjpw tovtw /3tft) KaraXipurdv- 
ovrai. 

"flare eVl Trdcn irpoaKwelv avrov rrjv cfuXav- 
OpcoTriav ocj^elXopiev Kal pbij hva-)(^epaiveLV, piepvqpie- 
voL 77)9 pieyd\r)<; eKeLvrj^; Kal doiBl/jLOV (pcovrj^; tjv 
6 yLteya? d6\rjT'ti<; 'loo/S dve^Oiy^aro, iirl iiid<^ 
7paiTe^T)<i IScov heKa iratBa^; ev (3pa-)(^eia Kacpov 
poTrfj avvTpL(3evTa<^' 'O Ki;/Qi09 eScoKev, 6 Kvpw<; 
d(f)eL\€T0' ct)9 Tw Kvplo) eSo^ev, ovrco Kal iyevero. 
rjpLerepov TrotyjacopLeda to davpua tovto' l'ao<; 6 
pbiaOo^ irapa tov hiKaiov KpiTOv Tot<; rd laa 
e7n8eLKVvpLevoL<; dvhpayaOi^piaTa. ovk diredTepi]- 
Orjpiev TOV 7rat8o9, dX)C dTreBooKapiev tw %^/;cra^'Tf 
ovBe r)(^aviaOr} avTOV 1) ^coi], dW cttI to ^eXtlov 
S 11] pLe 1(^07]' ov yfj KaTeKpv^jre top dyair-qrov 7)pL(ov, 
dW ovpavo<; virehe^aTo. piKpov dvapeivwpiev, 
Kal (Tvveaopbeda tm 7roOovf.t€P(p. ovSe 7ro\v<; 6 

* TiS7)(Tiu om. C, D. 

36 



LETTER V 

sliall find some slight relief from our trouble. 
Wherefore I exhort you, as a noble contestant, 
to stand firm against the blow, however great, and 
not to fall under the weight of your grief, nor yet 
to lose your courage, liaving assurance that even 
if the reasons for God's ordinances elude us, yet 
surely that which is ordained by Him who is 
wise and who loves us must be accepted, even if 
it be painful. For He Himself knows how He 
dispenses to each that which is best for him, and 
for what reason He sets for us unequal terms of 
life. For there exists a reason, incomprehensible to 
man, why some are sooner taken hence, while others 
are left behind to persevere for a longer time in this 
life of sorrows. 

Therefore, above all, we ought to revere His 
loving-kindness and not repine, remembering that 
great and famous saying uttered by the great com- 
batant Job when he saw his ten children in a brief 
moment of time slain at a single meal : " The Lord 
gave, and the Lord hath taken away : as it hath 
pleased the Lord, so is it done." ^ Let us make 
these marvellous words our own ; equal is the 
reward at the hands of the righteous Judge for 
those who exhibit equally noble deeds. We have 
not been bereft of the boy, but we have given him 
back to the lender ; nor has his life been destroyed, 
but merely transformed for the better ; earth has 
not covered our beloved one, but heaven has 
received him. Let us abide a brief space, and we 
shall be with him whose loss we mourn. Nor will 
tile period of separation be great, since in this life, 
as on a journey, we are all hastening to the same 

1 Job 1. 21. 

37 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

y^povo^ T}]<; Staardaeox;, ttuvtcov Mcrirep iv 68a) 
rw /3lm tovtw 7Tpo(; to avro /caray coy tov eireiy- 
o/ievcov iv M 6 fjiev TTpoicaTeKvaev, 6 he iTrfjXdev, 
6 Be eireiyeraL,^ Trdvra^ Be ev virohe^eraL reX.o^. 
el yap kol Oarrov rrjv oSbv TrpOKareXvaev, dWa 
7rdvT6<; TrjV avri]V iropevcTo/xeOa koI Trdvra^ to 
avro dva/ieiei KardXypia. pLOvov yevoLTo iipia^ 
hi dp€ry)<; rfj KaOaporyn eKeivov 6pLOLw6r)vaL, 
Lva Sid TO dhoXov tov ijdov; r?}? avTr]<; toI<; 
ev ^piOTW v7]7rLOi<; dvairavaew^ I'KiTvywpiev?' 



VI 

U/Jo? Ti)v opLo^vyov^ y^eKTapLOv TrapapbvOrjriKt].^ 

"KpueWov dTToaLMTrav tt/^o? T7]v KoapnoTrjrd aov, 
Xoyt^6pL€vo<; otl, coairep 6(j)daXpLw ^XeypLaivovTt 
Kal TO diraXcoraTov twv 7rap7]yopr)pdTO)V dviav 
ipLTTOiet, ovTw Kal '^vy^f) viro ^ 6Xi'\jreco<; (3apeLa<; 
KeKafCwpbevr], Kav TroXXrjv jrapaKXijaLv (fx^pj], o 
X0709 6)(Xr)p6<; 7r&)? elvai SoKel, iv ttj irepiwhvvia 
7rpocr(j)ep6pLevo<;. inel Si pie ^ elarfkOev otl irpo<i 
^ptcTTiavijv pLOL 6 X6yo<; earai irdXaL Treiraihev- 
pLevrjv TCL Oela fcal ipLTrapdaKevov ovTav 7r/)09 rd 
dvdpcoTTiva, ovfc ivopaaa SiKaiov elvai TrapaXLirelv 
TO iiTLJSdXXov piOL. olda iroTaTrd tcov puiTepwv 
Ta (j'nXdyyva Kal, OTav 18l(o<; to aov Trepi 7ravTa<; 
')(pT]aTov Kal ijpLepov ivOvpLrjdco, XoyL^opLai Troarjv 

^ rw Tro6ov/j.iucf} . . . iireiyerai om. B ; ovhe iroKvs . . 
i/7rt»5e'|€Tai reAos om. C, D. 

2 rvxo^p-^v A, B, C, D. ^ 6ix6(vya E, F, 

4 " - . 

38 



LETTER VI 

camvansary ; and altliouorh one has already taken 
up his lodfi^ing there, and anotlier has just arrived, 
and another is liastening thither, yet the same ii;oal 
will receive us all. For even though your son has 
finished his journey first, nevertheless we shall all 
travel the same path, and the same hospice awaits 
us all.^ Only may God grant that we through 
virtue may become like to him in purity, that by 
the blamelessness of our character we may obtain 
the same repose as the children of Christ. 



LETTER VI 

To THE Wife of Nectarius, in Consolation - 

It was my })urpose to maintain silence towards 
you, gentle lady, considering that just as to the 
eye when inflamed even the most delicate of sooth- 
ing applications causes irritation, so to the soul, when 
atHicted by a crushing weight of sorrow, words 
offered in the very moment of anguish, even though 
full of comfort, seem vexatious. When it occurred 
to me, however, that I should be speaking to a 
Christian, long since instructed in the ways of God 
and experienced in the affairs of men, I deemed it 
wrong to neglect my duty. I know what the heart 
of a mother is,^ and when I think how very kind 
and gentle you in particular are towards all, I can 

' Cf. ps.-Plut, Mor. 113 C {Consol. ad ApoUon.), where the 
same figure of life as a journey is used. 

2 Accompanies Letter V. 

^ Basil was one of the ton children of Emmelia, who was a 
model of Christian womanhood. Cf. Introd. p. xiv. 

39 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

etVo9 inl rot? irapovaLV elvac rr)v aXyrjSova. 
iralha i^7]/JiL(o6i]<i ov irepLovra fiev i/iaKcipiaav 
iraaai fjir)repe<^y /cal Tjv^avro rov<; iavTCOv tolov- 
rov<; elvai, arroOavovra he iareva^av, co? eKaarr] 
TOP eavTrj<^ yf} KaraKpyy^raaa, ifceivov 6 6dvaT0<^ 
TrXrjyr] ijevero irarpihoiv hvo} t>}? re /;yu.eTe/3a? 
KoX Tr]^ KlXlkcov, ifcelvQ) to fiiya /cal TrepLCpavh 
yivof; crvyKareTreaev, oiairep 6p€La/jLaro<i v(j)aipe' 
OevTOf; KaraaeLaOev. co avvavTrjixa irovi^pov Sal- 
fM0V0<;, iroaov Xcrynjae kukov i^epydaaaOai, o) 
yrj, roLovTov dvayKaaOelaa virohe^aaOaL ird6o<i. 
ecppi^e rdxa fcal 6 tJX^o?, et rt? aiadrjaif; avrw, 
TO (TKvOpWTTOv €K€Lvo Oea/ia. Kal Ti dv TC<i Toaov- 
Tov eLiTOi oaov 7) d/j,')])(^avLa r/}? "^i^X^)? viro^dWei ; 
'AXV ov yap dirpovoi'jTa tcl rjfieTepa, co? /lefia- 
6/]fca/jLev ev tw evayyeXiw otc ovSe aTpovOiov 
TTLTTTeL dveu OeXYjixaTc^ tou naTpo<i y)/i(ov. mcttc 
et TL yeyove, OeXi^jjuaTL yeyove tov iCTicravTO^i ij/iaf;. 
TO) he /SovXij/jLaTc tov Seov Tt9 dvOeaTrjKe ; Ka- 
TaBe^co/jLeOa to avfi^dv Svaapao")(^6TovvTe<; yap 
0VT6 TO yevo/jievov hiopOovjieOa, Kal eavTOv<^ 
TrpoaaTroXkv/xev. fir] KaT7]yop7]awfJ.€v Trj<; BcKaLa<; 
Kpiaew<; tov Qeov. dfiaOel^ ea/ieu, axiTe to, 
dpp7]Ta avTov KplfiaTa SoKifid^eiv. vvv crov 
\afJL(3dvei TrjV So/CLfi7]v 6 KvpLO<; r/)? tt/jo? avrov 
dydir'r]<^. vvv aoi irdpeaTL Kacpo^ Sid t^9 vtto- 
fjL0V7]<; Tr]v fjLepiSa tmv /lapTvpcop Xa/Seiv. )) t(ov 

^ 5vo7v F. 



^ i.e. Basil's and Nectar ius' country. This supports the 
belief that the Nectarius mentioned in this and the previous 

40 



LETTER VI 

estimate how great must be your grief at the present 
moment. You have lost a son, a man whom in life 
all mothers accounted fortunate, praying that their 
own sons might be of like mould ; and when he 
died, they mourned as if each had buried her own. 
His death has stricken two countries, our own and 
the Cilicians'.^ With him a great and illustrious 
family has fallen, dashed to the ground, as it were 
by the removal of the prop. Oh, plague- of an 
evil demon, how great a calamity it has had the 
power to wreak ! O earth, that has been compelled 
to submit to an affliction like this I Doubtless even 
the sun, if it had any })ower to feel, must have 
shuddered at that horrible sight. And what can 
anyone say commensurate with that which the soul 
in its utter despair prompts him to utter .^ 

Yet nothing that befalls us is apart from the 
guidance of Providence, for we have learned from 
tile Gospel that not even a sparrow falleth without 
the will of our Father.^ Therefore whatever has 
come to pass, has come by the will of Him who 
made us. And the will of God, who has ever with- 
stood it.-^ Let us accept what has happened; for 
if we are rebellious, we not only do not right the 
past, but ruin ourselves besides. Let us not con- 
demn the just decision of God. We are too ignorant 
to test His ineffable decisions. Now is the Lord 
making His test of your love for Him. Now is 
the opportunity at hand for you through patience 
to play the martyrs' role. The mother of the 

letter was the future bishop of Constantinople, since the 
latter was from Tarsus in Cilicia. 

2 (Tvi'di'T-nixa is used here as in the Septuagint. Cf. Ex. 
1), 14 ; 1 Kings 8. 37 ; Eccl. 2. 14. » Cf. Matt. 10. 20. 

41 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

^laKKapaloyv fJifjrrjp e~ra irai^wv elhe Odvarov 
Kol ovK iareva^ev, ovSe acfyrjKCv ayevve<; haKpvoVy 
uXh! €V')(^apL(TTOvcra tm 0ea) otl e/SXeirev avTov<; 
TTvpl Kal (tlSiioo) kul raU ^akeirwraTai'^ alKLaL<; 
TO)v heafioiv rr]<^ crapKO^ Xvofxevov^, €vS6KLp,o<; fiev 
Trapa Bew, aoihLpio<^ he irapa dv9pa)7roc<; iKpidrj. 
fjLe'ya to ttciOo^, (^tj/iI /cdyco' dWd jxeydXoi kol 
ol irapd Tov Kvptov pnadol tol<; viroixevovaiv 
dirofceipLevoL. 

"Ore iyevov fii]T7]p Kal ei8e<^ tov Tralha Kal 
r)vy^api(TTrj(ja<; tw ©eco, T^Sei? iravTW^ otl OvrjTrj 
ovaa 6vt'}T0v eyevvqcra^. tl ovv Trapdho^ov, el 
direOavev 6 dvi^TO'^ ; ^ dXkd Xvirel ijfia^ to Trapa 
Kaipov. dSr]\ov el firj evKaipov tovto, eTreiSi) 
r)/jLeL<i eKXeyeaOai ra avfjL<f)epovTa TaU -v/rf^j^at? 
Kal oplteiv TTpoOeapia'^ dvOpcoirivr] ^wfj ^ ovk iiTL- 
aTdpeOa. 7Tepij3Xe\\rai tov Koapiov diravTa ev (L 
KaT0LK€L<; Kal evvoTjaov otl irdvTa Ovi]Ta to. 
6p(o/jL€va Kal irdvTa (f)Oopa vTroKeLpLeva. avd- 
fiXeyfrov TTyoo?^ TOV ovpavov Kal outo? Trore 
XvOi'jaeTaL' 7rpo<; tov rjXiov' ovSe * 0UTO9 ^ Sea- 
fxevel. 01 daTepe<^ avp^TravTe^, fwa 'X^epaala Kal 
evuSpa, TCI irepl yrjv KdXXrj, avTij rj yrj, irdvTa 
(j)OapTd,^ irdvTa puKpov vaTepov ovk iao/xeva. 
rj TovTwv evvoia irapafivdla ecTTco tov av/i- 
^effrjKOTO^. prj Kaff eavTO fiETpec to 7rd6o<;, 
d(^6pr}Tov yap ovtco cfiavetTai a or aXXd tol<; 
dvOpoiiTivoi^ irdaL avyKpivovaa, evTevdev evpij- 
aei^ avTOv ttjv irapajJLvQiav. eVl irdai he eKelvo 

^ Tl ovv . . . Qv-qros om. C, D. ^ avdpcoirivns (wrjs E, F, 

^ TTphs : els F. * cure C, J). 

^ ahrhs A, B. « Ka\ add. E, F. 

42 



LETTER VI 

Maccabees^ beheld the death oi seven sons, and 
neitlier groaned nor slied an ignoble tear. Rather 
she gave thanks to God that she beheld her sons, 
albeit by fire and sword and by the most cruel 
tortures, set free from the bonds of the flesh ; and 
thus she received commendation in the sight ot 
Ciod, and everlasting renown in the sight of men. 
Great is the suffering, I do admit ; but great also 
are the rewards stored up by the Lord for those 
who patiently endure. 

When you became a mother, and beheld your 
child, and rendered thanks to God, you knew for 
a certainty that you, a mortal woman, had given 
birth to mortal offspring. How tlien is it strange 
if this mortal has died } But it is the untimely 
loss that grieves us, you will say. Nay, it is not 
certain that his death is not timely, since we do 
not know how to select what is best for our souls, 
or how to define limits for the life of men. Look 
about you at the whole universe in which you live ; 
and reflect that all the visible world is mortal and 
all things are subject to corruption. Look upward 
to the sky : this too will one day be dissolved ; look 
at the sun : not even this will endure. The stars 
one and all, the living things of land and water, 
the beauties of the earth, the earth itself — all are 
doomed to perish, all in a little while will not be. 
Let the thought of these things be a consolation 
for what has befallen you. Do not measure your 
suffering by itself, for if you do, it will appear to 
you intolerable ; if, however, you compare it with 
all things human, you will discover therein its con- 
solation. But above all 1 have this to urge — that 

1 Cf. Mace. 7. 

43 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

elirelv Icr^vpop e^w, cf)elaaL rod ofio^vyoV aA,X»;- 
Xoi<; yevecrde ^ TrapafivOla' fir] 7roi7]ar)<; avro) 
')(^a\e7r(OT6pav ttjv av/ii(j)opav ro) irdOeL iavrrjv 
KaravaXlor/covaa.'^ o\&>9 Be ovk oI/jlul Xoyov 
i^apKelv eU irapaKXr^atv, cOOC ev')(^fj<; rjyovpat 
')(^peLav elvai iTpo<; ra irapovra. evxopiat ovv 
avTov TOP Kvpiov, rfi dcpaTW avrov hwdfieL 
i(^ay\rdiiev6v aov r/}? Kaphia<^, efJLTroLrjaat, </)&>? 
rf] ^vxfl ^^^ ^'^ '^^^ dyaOodV XoyicrfMcov, tV 
OLKoOev e')(r]<^ t7]<; irapafivdia^ T<i? d<pop/jid(;. 

VII 

TprjyopiM eralpfp ^ 

Ouhe rore * 7)yv6ovv, ore eTTeareWov ttj \oyi6- 
TTfTi aov, on irdaa OeoXoycKt] (j)(oprj iXdrrcov 
jxev i<TTi rrj^ Siavoia^; tov XeyovTO<;, iXdrrcov Be 
tt}? rov i7rL^j]rovPTO<i eTTidvpiia'^, Sion 6 X070? 
daOevearepov 7rco<; 7re(f)v/c€ Bi,aK0vela6ai T0i<i 
voovp,evoL^, el ovv dadevr)<; tj/jlmp 1) Bidvoia, 
eXdrrcop Be TavT7]<; rj yXcjaaa, ri e^prjv irpoa- 
BoKclv 7]p,d<; eirl tol'^ elp7]p.evoL^, koI ovyl ireviav 
eyKXrjOrjaeaOat Xoywv ; ov flip tovtov ye eveKev 
Bvvarov rjv aiwirfj n-apeX0e1v to €7n-^7]TOv/jL6vov.^ 
KivBvvo^; yap irpoBoaia'^ ev tw pur) 7rpo')(^eipct)<i 

^ eVfle A, B, C, D. ^ avaXia-KOvcra A, B, C, D. 

^ rpriyoplcf) eVicr/coTraJ kiaipcf on ovx iKavhs 6 \6yo5 Trphs 
irapxaracriv rr\s yoovu^vris evae^eias Kal 'iva auvriyop\) rfi a.\r]6eia. 
yp. Evaypicf irpccrfivTepcf) K. t<2 avT(f) on ovx Ikui^os o Koyos 
TTphs irapa.(na(Tiv rf/s vouvjxivrjs (ixT^^eias A, B. rov avrov rrphs 
rhv piiyav Vpqyopiov uti ovx iKauos o \6yos irpos irapacnaaiv 
tTjs Poov/jLeuT}s €V(re$€ius 'iva kq.\ ttj a\r]deia auprjyopfi C, D. 
rpr]yopi(f) ^aaiKiios F. 

44 



LETTER VII 

you spare your partner in life ; be a consolation 
one to the other ; do not make the misfortune 
harder for him to bear by spending yourself upon 
your grief. I am by no means of the opinion that 
words suffice to give comfort ; but 1 believe that 
there is need of prayer also to meet this 
affliction. Therefore I do pray the Lord Himself 
so to touch your heart with His ineffiible power 
as to enkindle light in your soul by the exercise 
of good counsels, that you may have within yourself 
the sources of your consolation. 

LETTER VII 

To Gregory, my comrade ^ 

Even when I wrote to your learned self, 1 was 
not unaware that every theological expression is 
inferior to the thought of the speaker, and inferior 
to the desire of the questioner; because speech, 
I presume, is naturally too weak a thing to serve 
perfectly the conceptions of our minds.^ Thus if 
our thought is weak, and our tongue is inferior to 
our thought, what else should we have expected 
as a consequence of our pronouncements than that 
we should be criticized for poverty of words .^ 
However, I could not pass over your question in 
silence for this reason. For there is danger of 
treason, if one is not quick to answer the questions 

^ Appears to have been written in his retirement at Pontus. 

^ Cf. the homily {eis rrjv ayiav tov XpiaTov y(:VVT)(Tiv), " On 
the holy birth of Christ,'' where this statement is made 
more elaboratel3^ 

* ov5iiroT€ E. ^ (-qToiifxeuov A, B, C, D. 

45 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aiToBLSovai Ta<^ irepX ©eoO diroKpLaei^ rot? aja- 
iTOiaL Tov Kvpiov. ifcelva fiev ovv, etVe dpKovv- 
T(o<; ex^i'^ 8oK€i, etre fcal ^ aKpLlSeaTepw^ Tivh<^ 
7rpoaOr]/c7](; Selrai, Kaipov IBlov 7rpo<; SiopOcoaLv 

To Se vvv exov irapaKaXoviiev ae, o ^ kuI 
irapeKokeaafxev rjSi], '^(prjcraL aeavrov 6XoK\7]p(o<; 
TTJ avvi]yopLa t/}? h\ii6eia<i Kal ^ ral<; irapa tov ^ 
@eov iyyivo/ievai'^ rfj Stavoia aov opiial<^ Trpo^ 
TTji' TOV dyaOov avdTacnv, TUVTat^ apKovpievov 
Kal irap i]pj(jiv f.u]Sev iiri^rjTovvTa irXeov' o'l 
TToXXo) eXttTTOU? 6vTe<^ T?}? virovola^i /SXaTTTo/xev 
fjbdXXov TTj irap eavTMV daOeveia tov Xoyov ^ 
7] Tiva l(j')(yv hid r?}? (Tvvr]yopia<; tj} dXijOela 
TTpoaTiOefiep. 

VIII 

Tot9 Kaiaapevaiv diroXoyia irepl r?)? d'KO-)(^(api]- 
o-eo)?, Kal irepl 7rto-T6&)9 ^ 

UoXXuKt^; iOavfiaaa tl irore irpo^; rj/jLd<i 
ireiTovOaTe Kal iroOev ToaovTov rjTTaaOe ^ r?}? 

1 Koi om. C, 1). - h om. A, B. ^ koI oni. A, B. 
* TOV om. A, B, F. ^ Tu>v \6ycov C, D. 

^ Kal Trept Tricmws om. F. " rjTrriade F. 

^ Written in the year 380, when Basil, troubled by the 
news that Dianius, the bishop wlio had baptized him, was a 
subscriber to the Arian creed of Ariminum as revised at Nica 
(at or near modern Hafsa, just to the south of Adrianople; 
of. Theod., Hist. Eccl. 2, 16), had left Caesarea and taken 
refuge with Gregory at Nazianzus. This letter is clearly not 
addressed to the citizens of Caesarea, but rather to the monks 
of the Coenobium over which Basil had presided ; cf. the 
Benedictine note. 

46 



LETTER Vm 

about CJod whicli those <isk who love tlic Lord. 
My previous discussion, then, whether it is regarded 
as adequate or whether it needs a supplement to 
make it more accurate, calls for a special opportunity 
for revision. 

For the present, however, we urge you, as we 
have urged you before, to devote yourself entirely 
to the advocacy of the truth, and to those impulses 
which are im})lanted by God in your mind for 
the establishment of the good ; and we beg you to 
rest content with these and ask nothing more of us ; 
for by falling far short of our theme we do more harm 
to the reasoning by our own weakness than we add 
strength to the truth by our advocacy. 



LETTER VIII 

An Apology to the Caesareans for his Withdrawal, 
AND a Treatise on Faith ^ 

I HAVE often wondered what feelings you have 
conceived towards us, and for what reason you show 

^ From the point of view of the Triiiit}^, the cliief work 
of the Cappadocians, and especiall}' Basil, consisted in bring- 
ing back to the Church the group of the Semi-Arians, and 
detennining once for all the orthodox Greek terminology. 
Cf. Introd,, p. xxiii. — The present letter, and especially 
Letter XXXVIII, accomplished much in this way. 

The more important terms as defined by Basil are : 
av6fioios, clissimilis, unlike. 

ov(r(a,stcbstantia {sdihough the Latin rendering is etymologic- 
ally the same as inroa-Tacris), substance. 
oixooucrios, consubstantialis, consubstantial. 
d/xoio6(Tios, similis quoad siihstantiam, of similar substance. 
oixoios, similis, like. 
vTTocTaa-is, jKrsona, person. 

47 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SALXT BASIL 

r)/Ji€Tepa<; ^pa)(VTr]TO<;, tT;? fiLKpd<; Kal 6Xiyr]<; Koi 
ovhev '{(Tw^ exova7]<; ipdafjLtov, Kal \6yoi<; r)fia<; 
TTpoTpeiTeaSe ^i\ia^ re koi TTarpiho'^ vTrop.ifJivi'ja- 
KOVTe<^, MCTTrep (f)vydSa<? Tiva<^ irarpiKol'^ airXdyyj- 
voi^ TTpo^ eavTOv<; itoXlv eTnaTpecpeiv Tretpco- 
fxevoi. iyo) 8e ro fxev (pvya<; yeyovkvai ijxoKoyCi, 
Kal oi'K^ dpvTjOeirjv rijv he alriav picWotT av 
ijSi] TToOovvTe'^. 

MaXtcra piev tu> dSoKyjrfo Tore irX'qyei'^, KaO- 
direp 01 Tol<; al(^vihioi<; yjr6(f>0L<; ddp6co<; Kara- 
7r\ayevr6<;, ov KaT€cr)(^ov tov<; XoyiapLOV'^, aXA,' 
ifxdKpvva (f)vyaSev(ov, Kal i^vXiaOi-iv y^povov iKavov 
dcf)' vpLwv, eireLTa he Kal iroOo^ tl<; vireLarjei 
pLov " Twi^ Oeiwv BoypLdrcov Kal t?}? Trepl eKelva 
(j)t\oao(pLa<;. Hw? yap dv hwalpi-jv, ecpijv eyco, 
KpaTrjaai t?}? avvoiKovaii<; r]puv KaKia's ; Tt9 3' dv 
pLOt yevTjTai^ Ad^av, diraWdTTcov pL€ rod 
'Haav Kal Trpo? rrjv dvcordro) (f)i\oao(j)lav iraiB- 
aycoycov ; dX)C eTreiSyj, avv ^ew, rod aKoirov Kara 
hvvapiv rerv)(}]KapLev evpovre^ aKevo^ €KXoyf]<; 
Kal (f)peap /3a0v, Xiyco Bs ro rov Xptorrov aropua 
YpriyopLOV, oXiyov rjpilv, irapaKaXo), oXiyov avy- 
')(^u>pi'-)(Tare y^povov. alrovpieOa, ov rijv iv ral<; 
rroXeai hLarpifiyjv daira^opLevoi' ovSe yap XeXrjOev 
i]pLd<; 6 7T0V7]pb<i Sea rwv roiovrwv rrjv dirdrrjv 

^ av add. F. " ^€ F. ' yevono F. 

^ Basil here calls Caesarea Trorpis ; but this term may be 
applied to either the land of his birth or tlie place of his 
brin;j;ing up. Cf. Introd., p. xiii. 

2 Cf. Acts 9, 15: "And the Lord said to him: Go thy 
w^y ; for this man is to me a vessel of election, to carry 

48 



LETTER VIII 

such deference to our inferiority — paltry and in- 
significant as we are, and possessing, I suppose, no 
lovable quality — that you address us with words 
of exhortation, recalling our friendship and father- 
land/ as though you were endeavouring to induce, 
by an appeal to love of country, a runaway j)erson 
to return to his home. That I have become a 
runaway I acknowledge, nor would I deny it ; but 
the reason for this you may now learn, since you so 
desire. 

In the first place, and chiefly, I was so confounded 
at the time by the unexpected event, as men are 
utterly and in a moment confounded by a sudden 
noise, that I could not control my reason, but, 
taking flight, removed myself to a distance, and I 
have sojourned a considerable time away from you ; 
in the second place, a longing stole into my heart 
for the doctrine of God, and for the philosophy 
pertaining thereto. For how, I asked myself, could 
I overcome the evil that dwelt within me ? Who 
would be a Laban to me, and free me from Esau, 
and lead me to the highest philosophy ? But 
inasmuch as we have, with God's help, attained 
our goal as well as might be, having found a vessel 
of election ^ and a deep well-spring — I mean 
Gregory, the mouthpiece of Christ — grant us, I beg, 
a brief space of time. We ask this not because 
we are fond of life in the cities^ — for we are 
very well aware that the Evil One devises deceit 

my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of 
Israel." 

^ The city in which Basil is now staying is probably 
Nazianzus, the home of his friend Gregory ; or more exactly 
the suburb Carbala or Caprales (modern Gelvere), where 
Gregoi-y's estate was situated. 

49 

VOL. I. E 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TOfc? dvOpcoTTOL'^ iTpoafjiii^av(i)fJievo'i' dWa rijv 
avvTV^lav rr]V Trpo? tol'9 djiov<; eTrcocfteXi} fid- 
Xiara KpivovT€<;. iv yap tw Xeyetv tl irepl rcbv 
Oeiwv Soy/judrcov kuI aKoveiv irvKvorepov, e^iv 
Svaairo^XrjTOv 0€copi]fj.dTO)v Xa/Ji/Sdvofjiev. /cal ra 
/X6V KaO^ rjfjid^; rovrov e^^c top rpoirov. 

'TfjL€L<; Si, 0) Oelal fioi /cal TrpoaSiXeaTaraL Tva- 
aojv K€(f)aXaL, (f)vXdrTeade tou? twi^ ^vXtaTLaicov 
7roLfieva<;, /jlt] tl<; Xadoov i/xcppd^r] v/jlcjv rd ^peara 
fcal TO Kadapov Trj<^ yvcaaeco^; TrJ9 irepl rrjv iriarLV 
iiTiOoXdiar}. tovto yap avroh dei iartv eVtyaeXe?, 
/JLT] €K tCov Oelwv Tpa(p(ov SiSdaKeiv Td<; dKepaiore- 
pa<; ylrv)(d<;, dXX^ eK rf}^ e^coOev ao(f)ia^ irapaKpov- 
eaOai rrjv dXydecav. 6 yap dyevvrjrov koI yevvrjTov 
eireiadyow tj/jlcov tjj TrLcrret, Kal top del ovra jxi] 
ovra TTore SoyfiaTL^cov, koI tov (fyvcrei Kal del Ua- 
repa irarepa yivofjuevov, Kal to Ylvevfia to dyiov 
ovK dtSiov, ovK dvTLKpv<; eari ^vXcareix;^ ; [3a- 
aKa'ivwv Tot? tov 'TTaTpLdp')(^ov i)ii6)V irpo^aTOL^, Xva 
/xt) TclvwGiv eK TOV KaOapov Kal aXXofxevov eU ^(oyv 
alcovLov vBaTO^, dXXd to tov Trpo<p7]TOV Xoyiov 
77/909 eavTov<; eiriairdacovTai, to 'E/xe eyKaTeXiirov 
Tniyi]v vSaTO^ ^covTO^i Kal wpv^av eavTol<; XdKK0v<; 
avvTeTpc/jL/xevov<; ol ov hwyjcropTai vScop ava')(elv, 
Seov 6/ioXoyetv &eov top UaTepa, Seov tov Tiov, 
Seov TO Hvevfia to dyiov, 009 ol deloi Xoyoi Kal 
ol T0VT0v<^ vyf/ijXoTepov vevot'jKOTe^ eSlSa^ap. 

^ (pvKLuriaios F. 



^ The Arian formula is ^ Trore or^ ovc ^v, "There was 
a time when he was not." 

50 



LETTER Via 

for men by such means — but because we consider 
the society of holy men most helpful. For by 
speaking now and then about the doctrine of God, 
and more frequently by listening, we are acquiring 
a habit of reflection that will not easily be lost again. 
Such is our present situation. 

But do you, O dear ones divine and best beloved 
of all, beware of the shepherds of the Philistines, 
lest they secretly obstruct your wells and pollute 
the purity of the knowledge of faith. For their 
aim is ever this, not to instruct the more stainless 
souls through the teachings of the divine Scriptures, 
but through extraneous wisdom to thrust the truth 
to one side. For he who introduces '^unbegotten " 
and ^'begotten" into our faith, and declares that 
He who always was, at one time was not,^ and 
that He who naturally and always was Father 
became Father, and that the Holy S})irit is not 
eternal, is he not an out-and-out Philistine ? Does 
he not strive to bewitch the sheep of our patriarch, 
that they may not drink of the water which is 
pure and which leaps into everlasting life,- but that 
they may draw down upon themselves the words 
of the prophet,^ who says: ^^They have forsaken 
me, the fountain of living water, and have digged 
to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can 
hold no water ".^ Yet they ought to confess that 
the Father is God, that the Son is God, and that 
the Holy Ghost is God, as the divine words and 
those who have had the highest conception of them 
have taught us. 

- "But the water tliat I will give him shall become in him 
a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting." 
John 4, U. 3 Jer. 'li, 13. 

5' 
E 2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

11/309 ^€ Toi/? €7rr}ped^ovTa<; rjfMtv to rpiOeov, 
i/cetvo Xeyeadco, oTiirep rj/ieU €va Seov, ov tm 
aptO jJLW, ciXka rfi <^vaei ofioXoyovfxev. ttclv yap o 
€v dpiOfjLW XiyeraL, tovto ov')(^ ev 6pt(o<; ouS' 
dirXovv jfj (pvcrei icrrLV 6 Be 0eo? aTrXou? Kal 
davvdero^ irapd irdaiv o/jLoXoyeirai. ovk apa el<i 
dpiOfiw iailv ©eo?. o he Xeyw tolovtov iariv. 
ev dpiO/jLO) TOP fcoa/iov elvai (fia/iev, dXX^ '^ ou% eva 
rfj (pvaeL, dXX' ovS' dirXovv rivd tovtov refivo- 
jjbev yap avTov eh rd i^ odv crvveaTrjKe a-TOi')(^ela, 
eh TTvp Kal vhwp Kal depa Kal yrjv. irdXiv 6 
dvOpcoTTO^i eh dpiO/jLO) ovopid^eTai' eva yap dvOpw- 
iTOV TToXXdKL^; XeyojJiev.^ dXX' ovx dirXov^^ ti<; 

OUTO? icTTLVy €K adL>fiaTO<^ Kal 'v/^L'%^'5? aVV€(TTCO<^. 

6/xoL(i)<; 8e Kal dyyeXov eva dpid/jbrp ipoufiev, dXX^ 
oi)^ eva rfj (pvcreL ovBe dirXovv ovcrtav yap jxeO^ ^ 
dyiadfjiov rrjv rod dyyeXov vTroaraatv evvoovfiev. 
el rolvvv nrdv to ev dpiOfMw ev tyj (f)vaei ovk eaTi, 
Kal TO ev Trj (f)vaeL Kal dirXovv ev dpiOfx^ ovk 
eaTiv, rjfxeh Be 7\,eyofiev eva Trj (f)vaeL Qeov, ttw? 
eireLadyovcriv rjfxlv tov dpiOpiov, avTOv irdvTrj 
rj/xojv e^opi^ovTcov r/}? p^aKapia^ eKeLV7j<; Kal votj- 
Ti]<; (j>vae(D^; 6 yap dpi6p,6<; eVrt tov ttoctov, to Be 
Troaov TTJ <T(OfJiaTLKfi (pvaeL crvve^evKTaL' 6 yap 
dpiOpio^ tt}? aco/xaTtKr)<; c^vaecDS. awpbdTwv Be Bt]- 
[xiovpyov TOV }s.vpiov i)p.oiv elvai ireinaTevKap.ev. 
Bio Kal Tra? dptd/jLo<; eKelva o-rjfxaivet Ta evvXov Kal 
7repLypa7rTr]v ex^i'^ XayovTa ttjv (j)V(7CV,7] Be ixovd<i 
Kal evd<; r?}? d7rXrj<; Kal direpLXi^iTTOv ovaia^ eaTl 
a7]fjLavTiK)]. 6 TOLVvv dpiOpiov rj KTia/ia ofioXoyMV 

^ a\\' om. F. 2 Kiyop.(v (o fr. w) F. ^ juera F. 

52 



LETTER VIII 

In reply to those who slander us as being 
Tritheists, let it be said that we confeSs one (iod, 
not in number but in nature. For not everythin<r 
that is called one in number is one in reality nor 
simple in its nature ; but God is universally admitted 
to be simple and uncompounded. Yet God is not 
therefore one in number. \Miat I mean is this. 
We say that the universe is one in number, but 
not that it is one in nature, nor yet that it is simple ; 
for we divide it into the elements of which it is 
composed : fire, water, air, and earth. ^ Again, man 
is called one in number ; for we often speak of 
one man. But he is not simple, since he is com- 
posed of body and soul. Similarly we speak of 
an angel as one in number, but not as one in nature, 
nor yet as simple ; for we conceive of the person 
of the angel as being substance along with sanctity. 
If then not everything which is one in number is 
one in nature, and what is one in nature and simple 
is not one in number, and we say that God is one in 
nature, how do they introduce number into our idea, 
when we banish it altogether from that blessed and 
spiritual nature ? For number pertains to quantity ; 
now quantity is joined as an attribute to corporeal 
nature ; therefore, number is an attribute of cor- 
poreal nature. We believe that our Lord is the 
maker of bodies. Therefore every number signifies 
those things which have been given a material and 
circumscribed nature, whereas ' aloneness ' and 
'unity' are attributes of a substance that is simple 
and unlimited. He, then, who confesses the Son 



^ For the elements of the Greek philosophers, cf. Arist. 
Met. 1, 3. 



53 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Tov Tlop Tov Qeov rj to Hvev/xa to ayiop, \av6dvei 
evvKov KOI irepL'ypaTTTrjV cf)vaiv eladycjv. irepLypaTr- 
Tr}v Be Xeyco, ov fiovov ttjv 7r€pi€)(o/jbev')]v viro t6- 
TTOV, aW' rjVTrep Koi Trj TrpGyvcocreL iixTr6pLei\r}(^ev 
6 fjLeXkwv avT7]v cnro tov /it] 6Vto9 et? to elvai 
Trapdyeiv, r)v ^ /cal eTna-Tij/jir] irepiXa^elv SvvaTov 
icTi. TTCiv ovv dyiov, o TrepLypaTTTrjv e%6t ti]v (f)V(Ti,v 

KOl eiTLKTl^TOV e^6L T7)V dyiOTYJTa, OUK dveiTiBeKTov 

icTTi KaKia<;. 6 Be Tio? real to Uvev/Jia to dytov 
TT?;-/?; ecTTiV dyiacrjJLOv, V(f> r]<; irdaa rj XoyiKT] 
KTLcn<; KaT dvaXoylav ttj^ dp€T7J<; dyid^eTai. 

KuLTOL rj/ieU fcaTa tov dXrjOrj Xoyov ovtg 
6/jLOLOv ovT€ dpofjLOLov Xiyo/xev TOV Tlov TO) UaTpi. 
cKdTepov yap avTwv eVtV?;? dBvvaTOV. ofioiov 
yap Kal uvo/jlolov KaTa ra? TroLOTTjTaf; XeyeTar 
TTOLOTrjTOf; Be to Oelov eXevOepov. TavTOTijTa Be 
tt}? (pvcreco^ 6/jLoXoyovvTe<^ Kal to opioovcnov 
eKBe')(^6/jLe6a Kal to avvdeTOv c^evyofxev, tov KaT 
ovalav 0eou Kal Harpo? tov KaT ovalav Seov Kal 
Tlov yeyevviiKOTo^' eK yap tovtov to ofioovatov 
BeiKVVTai. 6 yap KaT ovalav Seo<; tu) KaT 
ovalav ("dew 6/jLOovai6^ eaTiv. 

'EttcI ^ Be XeyeTat 6eo<=; Kal 6 dvOpci)7ro<;, co? to 
Eyo) elira, 6eol eaT€, Kal 6 Bal/icov 6e6^, co? to 

1 & F. 2 gVe.Sij F. 

^ So declared at Seleucia and Ariminum. 

2 Cf. the essay "On the Holy Spirit'' (irepi tov ayiov 
irvevnaros), where Basil deals at length with the heretic 
Aetius's sophism that things naturally unlike are expressed 
in unlike terms, and, conversely, that things expressed in 
unlike terms are naturally unlike. 

3 By reason of the simplicity of His nature, God's at- 
tributes and His nature are one and the same. The attributes 

54 



LETTER VIII 

of God or tlie Holy Spirit as number or creature, 
unwittino^ly introduces a material and circum- 
scribed nature. By "circumscribed" I mean not 
merely the nature which is enclosed by space, but 
that which has also been comprehended in fore- 
knowledjie bv Him who is to brinff it from a state 
of non-being into a state of being ; and this is a 
nature that can be comprehended by knowledge. 
Therefore everything holy, which has a circum- 
scribed nature and whose holiness has been acquired, 
is not insusceptible of evil. But the Son and the 
Holy Ghost are the fountains of holiness ; and by it 
every reasoning creature is made holy in proportion 
to its virtue. 

And yet we, in accordance with the true doctrine, 
speak of the Son as neither like ^ nor unlike ^ to 
the Father. Each of these terms is equally im- 
possible. For the words " like " and " unlike " are 
used with reference to qualities ; but the divine is 
free from quality.^ However, in agreeing on 
identity of nature, we accept likewise the identity 
of substance, refusing to accept compositeness, since 
He who in substance was God and Father has 
begotten Him who in substance was God and Son ; 
for thereby the identity in substance is proved. For 
He who is in substance God must have identity of 
substance with Him who in substance is God. 

But when even man is called God, as in the 
saying : " I have said : You are gods," * and when 
the demon is called god, as in the saying : " The 

of God are not really, but only virtually, distinct from one 
another and from His nature. 

* " I have said : You are gods, and all of vou the sons of 
the most High." Fsal. 81, 6. 

55 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Ot 0601 TO)v eOvMV haifxovta, aX}C ol fxev Kara 
X^P^^ ovofid^ovrai, ol Ee Kara ^^ev^o^;. 6 Se ©eo? 
liGvo<; KUT ovolav iar\ 0eo?. ii6vo<^ Be orav etirw, 
Trjv ovaiav rov Seov ttjv ayiav Koi d/cTLarov 
Sr)\a), TO <ydp /jl6i'0<; Xiyerat Kal eiri tlvo<^ civOpdo- 
TTOv Kal eVt (f)vae(o<; a7rXw9 t^? KaOoXov iirl 
Tivo<; fxev, olov, ^epe elirelv, eVt UavXov, on fiovo^ 
rjpTrdyr] eo)? rpLTOv ovpavov Kal i]/cova€V dpprjra 
pi]fiaraa ovk e^ov dvOpcoircp \a\rjaaL' iirl (f)va6(o<; 
Se tT;? Ka96\ov, co? orap Xeyrj Aa^lS, " AvOpwiro^;, 
fo)crel x^pTO^ al ij/xepac avrov. ivravOa yap ov 
rov Tiva dvOpwirov, dWd rrjv KaOoXov (f)vaiv 
SrjXol' ird^ yap dv6p(07ro<; Trp6a/caipo<^ Kal dvrjro^;. 
ovT(o KOLKelva voovixev iirl rr}<; (pvaeoy^; elprjfxiva' 
TO 'O /i6vo<; e^fov dOavaaiav, Kal, Xlovo) ao(fia) 
0e&), Kal TO OvheU dya66<; el p.r) els 6 ©eo? (to 
yap el^i ivravOa tcd /jl6vo<; Tavrov SrjXol), Kal to 
'O Tavvaa<; tov ovpavov p-6vo<;, Kal wdXtv, Kvpla) 
Tw 06&) aov 'TrpoaKvvr}(TeL<^ Kal avTw fiovw XuTpev- 
aei<;, Kal to Ovk eaTi S€o<; ttXtjv ip.ov. to yap 
el? Kal fjLovo^ irrl Seov iv tj} Vpac^fj ov 7rpo<; 
dvTiSiacTToXrjv tov Tlov i) tov dyiov Tlvevp,aTo<i 
XeyeTaL, dXXd 77/309 tou? /xj; 6vTa<; 6eov<^, ovo- 

^ ''For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the 
Lord made the heavens." Psal. 95, 5. 

^ Of. 2 Cor. 12, 4 : on ripTrdytj els rhv TrapaSeiaov, Kol i}Kov<rev 
&pf)T]Ta pT]fxara h. ovk i^ov auOpdcircf KaXijaat. "That he was 
caught up into paradise, and heard secret words, which it 
is not granted to man to utter." The first part of Basil's 
quotation differs markedly from our version of the N.T. He 
adds /xovos, and substitutes ewj rplrou ovpavuv for ejs rhv 
iraudSciaov. 

2 i.e., by metonymy, 

56 



LETTER \'III 

gods of the Gentiles are devils," ^ yet the former 
are so termed in compliment and the latter falsely. 
But God alone is God in substance. And when 
I say ''^ alone/' I must make it clear that the 
substance of God is holy and uncreated; for the 
attribute " alone " is sometimes applied to a par- 
ticular man, at other times to the nature which 
all men share. It is applied to a particular man, 
when, let us say for exam})le, it is said of Paul 
"that he alone Avas caught up into the third heaven, 
and heard secret words which it is not granted to 
man to utter." ^ It is applied, however, to human 
nature,^ as when David * says, '^ Man, his days are 
as grass"; for here it refers, not to any particular 
man, but to the nature which is shared by all men. 
Indeed, every man is ephemeral and mortal. In 
like manner, we understand the following words 
to have been referred to the Divine Nature, " Who 
alone hath immortality,"^ and, ^^To the alone wise 
God," ^ and, '^ None is good, except one, God"' 
(for here the word ^' one " means the same as the 
word " alone "),and, " Who alone spreadeth out the 
heavens," ^ and again, '^^ Thou shalt adore the Lord, 
thy God, and Him alone shalt thou serve," ^ and, 
"There is no other God besides Me."^^ In fact, 
"one" and "alone" are applied to God in the 
Scriptures, not to distinguish Him from the Son 
or from the Holy Ghost, but to contrast Him 
with those who are not gods, but are falsely so 

*■ " He remembereth that we are dust : man's days are as 
grass ; as the flower of the field, so shall he flourish.-' Psal. 
102, 15. 

5 1 Tim. 6, 16. « Rom. 16, 27. ' Luke 18, 19. 

8 Job 9, 13. 9 Deut. 6, 1. i» Deut. 32, 39. 

57 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

/jLa^o/jL€Vov<; Se ^}r€vSco<;' cos- to Kvpio^i /i6vo<^ rj'yev 
avrov^t Koi ovk rjv fier avrodv Oeo^ dWorpcoffy koI 
TO HepielXov viol ^laparfK ra IjadXelfi kuI ra 
d\(T7] ^AarapooO Kal iSovXevov Ku/jtw /i6v(p, kol 
ttuXlv naOX.09, "^airep elal 9eol ttoXXoI koi 
KvpioL TToXXoL, oXX' r)fjLiv cU ®e6<;, 6 HarTjp, ef 
ov ra Trdvra, Kal el? K.vpio^, 'lT]aov<; ^pLaT6<;, hi* 
01) ra Trdvra. 

WXXd ^rjTov/jL€v evTavda ttw? Ei9 Oeo? elpijKayf; 
OVK 7]pKea6rj rfj cjicovy (e^afiev yap on fiovo^ Kal 
TO eh, iirl Seov, rrjv cf)vcnv St]Xol), dXXd Kal to 
I]aTr)p TTpoaeOTjKe Kal tov ^ ^ptorrov ifxvrjpiovev- 
aev. VTTOVOco toivvv otl ovk i^apKclv wrjOrj vvv 6 
TlavXo<i, TO aKevo<; t% €KXoyrj<;, KypvaraeLV pLovov 
Sebv TOV Tibv Kal Seov to Hvevpua to dyiov, 
oirep Std T^9 EI? ©eo? iSy]X(ocr€ p7](Teco<;, idv pLrj Kal 
Sid Trj<; TrpoadyJKT]^ tov TlaT/^o? tov i^ ov Ta irdvTa 
87]X(oar), Kal 8id t/}? p.v?]pL7]<; tov Kvpiov tov Ao- 
701^ TOV Bi ov Ta irdvTa arjpidvT)- Kal irdXiv, Bid 
Tr]<; ^Irjaov ^piaTOv avfjLTrapa\7]yjr€a)<;, T}]V ivavOpco- 
iniaiv TrapayyeiXr) ^ Kal to ird6o<; irapao-T^jarj Kal 
TT}V dvd(TTaaiv <f)avepcoar]. to ydp 'It/ctoO? X/9t- 
CTTO? Td<; TOiauTa^; evvoias ypilv epi^aivei. Bio Kal 
iTpo TOV 7rd6ov<^ TrapaiTeiTai 6 Kupio<;, ^ir]aov<; 
X/jfcTTo? KaTayyeXXeadaiy Kal BiaaTeXXerai rot? 

^ TOV om. F. 2 aTrayyel\Tj F. 

1 Deut. 32, 12. 2 1 Kings 7, 4. 

^ Cf. 1 Cor. 8, 5—6 : wairep elal Oeol ttoAAoi, ical Kvpioi 
TToWoi' oAA' T)ixiv els Ofos 6 Trarrjp, e| ov ra travra, Ka\ 
Ti/xe^s els avr6v' kol els Kvpios, 'Irjaovs XpLaros 5i' ov ra 
TTOLVTa, Kol 7}/x€7s Si'avTov. " Foi' there be gods manj% and 
lords many ; yet to us there is but one God, the Father, 

S8 



LETTER VIII 

called ; for example, " Tlie Lord alone was tlieir 
leader : and there was no strange god with them "; ^ 
and, "Then the children of Israel put away Baalim 
and the groves of Astaroth, and served tiie Lord 
alone";- and again the words of PaiiH: "Just as 
there be gods many, and lords many, yet to us 
there is but one God, the Father, of whom are 
all things, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are 
all things." ^ 

But here we may ask why, after having said 
"one God," Paul was not content with the saying 
(for we have said that "only" and "one," when 
applied to God, indicate the nature), but went 
on and added " Father " and mentioned Christ. 
Well, then, I suspect that Paul, the vessel of 
election, did not consider it enough in this passage 
to proclaim only God the Son and God the Holy 
Spirit, the thought which he has made manifest 
through the expression "one God," without at the 
same time, by the addition of "the Father," making 
manifest Him from whom all things are, and, b}' 
making mention of "the Lord," indicating the Word 
by whom are all things ; and again, by including 
" Jesus Christ," proclaiming the Incarnation, setting 
forth the passion, and making manifest the resurrec- 
tion. For the words " Jesus Christ " bring before 
our minds all these ideas. For this reason too, 
before His passion, the Lord asked not to be 
proclaimed as Jesus Christ ; and " He commanded 

of whom are all things, and we unto him ; and one Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and ive by him.'' Note 
Basil's accurate quotation, with apparently purposeful 
omission of irrelevant material. 

■* In this passage Basil has been defending his contention 
that ' one ' cannot be predicated of God, 

59 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

lia9riTal<^, 'iva /irjSevl eiirwatv, on avT6<; iariv 
'It/o-oO? 6 X/3^(7TO?. TrpoKetrai yap avTU> reXeico- 
aavTL rr)v OLKovo/jiiav, fiera rrjv €k veKpcov 
avdaraaLV Koi rrjv eh ovpavov^; dvciXrjyjrtv, 
eimpe'^aL avrol<; /crjpvcra-eiv avrov ^Irjaovv tov 
uipLarov. roiovTov iart kol to "\va yivcoaKcoal 
ae TOV fiovov ciXtjOlvov ^eov, Kal ov aTrecTTetXa^i 
^Iy]aovv XpLaTov, Kal to UtaTeveTe 6t9 ^ Seov Kal 
et? €/jb6 TTcaTeveTG' iravTa^^ov Tip evvoiav rjfjLcov 
da(j)aXL^ofjLevov tov TivevfiaTO^ tov dyiov, Xva jxr] 
OaT€p(p TTpoa^aivovTe^; OaTepov eKTriTTTcofiev, Kal 
Tfi OeoXoyca 7rpoa€XoPT€<; tT/? olKOVo/j.La<; KaTa- 
(ppovMpev, Kal yevTjTai rj/jitv KaTa to iXXelirov i) 
dae/Seia. 

Td Be p7]/jLaTa t/)? OeLa<; Tpa(f)ri<;, direp Xapuffd- 
vovr€<; ol dvTLKeifjievoL Kal SiaaTpecpovTe^i 7rp6<; ttjv 
OLKeiav (TVvelSrjaLP eh KaOaipecnv t^? Sof?;? tov 
Movoy€POv<; i)ixlv irpocpepovcrLV, oi^tw? e^eTacrco/jLev, 
KaTa TO SvvaTov i]pZv dva7TTvaaovTe<; avTOJv ttjp 
Sidvoiav. Kal irpMTOv rj/itv TrpoTideaOo) ^ to '£70) 
f<M Sid TOV UaTepa' tovto yap iaTiv ev tmv 
^eXoiv Ta)v eh ovpavov irefjiTro/ievcov vtto tcov 
dae^M^ avTU) Ke)(^p7]/j,evcov. evTavOa 8e to prjTov 
ov TTjv TrpoatcovLov, &)? olfiai-, ^cor]v ovo/xd^ei 

rlv add. F. 2 TrpoTiOeicTeoo F, 

1 Matt. 16, 20. 2 John 17, 3. ^ John 14, 1. 

* oiKovofAia, "the divine dispensation,"' relates to the 
Incarnation and consequent redemption of mankind, as 
distinguished from deoAoyia, " theology," which is concerned 
with all that relates to tlie divine and eternal nature of 
Christ. 

60 



. LETTKR VIII 

His discii)les, that they should tell no one that 
He was Jesus the Christ." ^ For it was His inten- 
tion^ only after He had finished His mission, after 
the resurrection from the dead, and the assumption 
into heaven, to i)ermit them to proclaim Him Jesus 
the Christ. Such is the meaning of the words : 
" That they may know Thee, the only true God, and 
Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent," ^ and of these : 
" You believe in God ; believe also in me." ^ Thus 
the Holy Spirit everywhere safeguards our under- 
standing, lest in approaching the one idea we fall 
away from another ; lest by attending to theology 
we think too little of the divine dispensation ; * and 
lest through our deficiency impiety be engendered 
within us. 

The words of the divine Scriptures which our 
opponents seize, twist to suit their own peculiar 
persuasion^ and offer to us for the destruction of the 
glory of the Only-begotten, let us now examine^ 
unfolding their meaning to the best of our ability. 
And first let us consider the statement, " 1 live 
by the Father ;" ^ for this is one of the missiles 
hurled against heaven by those who have made 
impious use of it. These words, in my opinion, do 
not refer to his life in eternity ^ (for everything 

^ John 6, 58: " b}- the Father." " Tlie preposition 
(Vulg. propter patrein) describes the ground or object, 
not the instrument or agent (by, through, Sta rov -naTpos). 
Complete devotion to the Father is the essence of the 
life of the Son, and so complete devotion to the Son is the 
life of the believer. It seems better to give this full sense 
to the word than to take it as equivalent to ' by reason of ' ; 
that is, ' I live because the Father lives ' " ( Westcott, >S'^ John, 
ad he). 

^ i. €. before the creation of the world. 

6i 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SALVT BASIL 

{irdv yap to Bl erepov ^mv avro^corj ^ elvai ov 
Svvarai, 0)9 ovSe to v(j)' eTepov OepixavOev avToOep- 
/jl6t7]<; elvac, 6 Be XpLaTO^ ^ Kal 0eo9 ^ i)pLO)v 
€ipr]K6i>, 'E^co el/Jit 7] ?&)?;), aWa ^o)t]v TavTifV ttjv 
iv aapKL Kal iv tw 'X^povo) tovtw yey6vy]/iievT]v, fjv 
6^r](7€ Bia Tov UaTepa. /SovXijcreL yap avTov 
iinBeBjjfirjKe tco fiiw tmv avO pcoiroiv Kal ovk 
elirev, 'Eyo) e^ijaa Bia tov UaTepa, aW\ 'EycD 
fw St-a TOV UaTepa, aacfyayi tov irapovTa Trpoai]- 
fjLaivwv ^ 'Xpovov. SvvaTac Be Kal ^corjv Xeyecv fjv 
^fj 6 XptaTO'i, TOV \6yov tov Qeov e^coy iv eavTw. 
Kal OTL TOVTO iaTL TO Brfkov jjLevov , eK tov iiri- 
(jiepofJiAvov elaofieOa. K.al 6 Tpcoywv /le, (f>7](Ti, 
^yaeTai Be e/xe' Tpwyofiev yap avTov ttjv adpKa 
Kal TTivofiev avTov to alfxa, kolvwvoI yivopievoi, 
Bia T/}? ivavO pwTTi]aew<^ Kal tt}? alaOi'^Trj^ ?&>^?, 
TOV Aoyov Kal T779 ao<fiLa<;. adpKa yap Kal alfia 
iraaav avTOv ttjv /jLvcTTiKrjv e-mBrnjiiav wvofiaae, 
Kal T7]v €K irpaKTiKij^; Kal ^ucrt/c?}? Kal 6eo\oyiKr}<i 
(TvveaTcbcrav BiBaaKaXiav iBijXcoae, Be ?;9 Tp€(f>€TaL^ 
"^v^j] Kal irpo^; Tifv to^v ovtcov Tea><; Oecoplav 
TrapaaKevci^eTat. Kal tovto iaTi to eK tov 
py]Tov icro)<; BijXovfievov. 

Kal TToXtv, 'O UaTijp jjlov fiei^cov /lov eVrt* 
KexPV^CLL yap Kal tovtco tco p'tjTO) tcl dx^picrTa 
KTia/iaTa, tcl tov 7rov7)pov yevvyjfxaTa. iyco Be Kal 

^ au^oC'^y F. - Kvpios F. ^ Kal 0ebs om. F. 

^ irpoaaniiJLaivoiv Y. '^ t€ add. F. 



^ Cf. John 11, 25: " 'Eyi et'.ut -^ avdaraais Kal ?/ Co^V-' "I 
am the resurrection and the life." 

62 



LE'ITER VIII 

which has life by or through soinethin/j^ else cannot 
be self-existent, just as that which is heated by 
something else cannot be self-heating ; and our 
Christ and God has said: "I am the life " ^), but 
to that life which He has had in the flesh and in 
time here upon earth, which He lived by or through 
the Father. For it was of His own will that He 
came to sojourn among men as one of them ; and 
He did not say, ^^ I have lived by the Father/' but 
" 1 live by the Father/' referring clearly to the 
present time. And He can use the word "life " of 
the life which the Christ is living, since He has the 
word of God within Himself. And that this is what 
He means we shall perceive from the following : 
•''And he that eateth Me/' He says/ "the same 
also shall live by Me" ; for we eat of His flesh, 
and drink of His blood, becoming partakers of His 
Word and Wisdom through His Incarnation and 
visible life. For by "flesh and blood " He referred 
to His entire mystic sojourn, and revealed the 
doctrine, composed of the real,^ the natural, and 
the theological, whereby the soul is nourished and 
prepared betimes for its ultimate contemplation of 
realities. This is what He probably means by those 
words. 

Consider, again, this saying : " The Father is 
greater than I "; ^ for those thankless creatures, 
the offspring of the Evil One, have made use even 
of this expression. 1 am convinced, however, that 

2 Cf. John f), .58. 

^ wpaKTiKos probably means "real " as opposed to " .specu» 
lative " or "logical.'' Basil uses ■npay/j.i. frequent!}' for 
" reahtv." 

* John 14, 2S. 

63 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

e/c TauT?;? t?}? (f>(ov)]<; to ofioovaiov elvai tov Tlov 
Tip YiaTpl 87]Xova6ai TreTviaTevKa. ra? yap 
avyKpLaeL<; olBa Kvpi(j)<; eirl tojv t/}? avTrj<; cf)va€(o<; 
ryivo/i6i^a<;. dyyeXop yap ayyeXov Xiyofiev fxei^ova, 
Kal avOpcoTTOv avOpdiirov hiKaiOTepov, Kal ttt^jvov 
iTTiivov TayvTepov, el tolvvv ai crvyKpiaei<; eirl 
TMV 6fioetS(t)V ylvovTaiy fiei^oyv he kutcl auyKpiacv 
eiprjTac 6 UaTrjp tov Tlov, 6p.oovaLO<; too YiaTpl 6 
Ti6<s. eaTL Be tl<; Kal ciWy] evvoia evaTroKeifxevij 
Tft) pr]Ta>. TL yap Oav/xaaTov el fxei^ova eavTov tov 
IlaTCpa oi/jLoXoyrjae, A0709 cov Kal aap^ yeyovco^, 
OTTOTav Kal ayyekwv oocpOr] KaTa ttjv So^av eXcuT- 
Tcov Kal dvOpcoTTcov KaTCi TO elSc; ; ^HXdTTcoaa<; 
yap avTov, (f)7]ai, ^pa-^^y tc Trap' dyyeXov<;' Kal 
irdXiv, Tov he ^payv tl irap dyyeXov<^ rjXaTTco- 
fievov, Kal TO Y^tSo/iev avTov, Kal ovk ely^v eiBo<; 
ovBe KdXXo(;, dXXd to elSo'i avTov eKXelrrov irapa 
7rdvTa<; tou9 ^ dv6pco7Tov<;. tovtcov Be irdvTcov 
riveax^TO Bid ttjv '7toXX))v avTOv ire pi to irXdafxa 
(piXavOpcoTTLav, Iva to aTroXwXo^; irpojBaTov dva- 
acoarjTai Kal to awOev KaTa/iL^r] Kal tov KUTeX- 
OovTa diro 'lepovaaXyjp, et? 'leptx^y '^^'' ^^^ tovto 
TrepiTreaovTa X-paTah, et? ttjv olKeiav vyiaivovTa 
irdXiv eiravaydyrj TraTplBa. 

' H Kal TTjv ^dTVi^v avTU) oveiBicreL ^ aipeTiK6<;, 
Bt 779 dXoyo<i oiv eTpd(f)7] vtto tov A0701; ; Kal ttjv 
ireviav Trpooiaet, otl kXcviBlov ovk t]V7r6pt]aev 6 
^ Tovs om. F. 2 add. F. 

^ Cf. John 1, 14. Kol 6 \6yos «Tap| eytvero, ical iaK-qvwaev iv 
T]fuv, . . . irK-nprjs x^P'^'''^^ '^'^'^ aXrjStias. "And the Woi d 
was made flesh, and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and 
truth." 
64 



LETTER \TII 

in these words too we have a clear demonstration of 
the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father. 
For I know that comparisons must strictly apply 
to things of the same nature. Thus we speak of 
an angel as greater than an angel, and of a man 
as juster than a man, and of a bird as swifter than a 
bird. If, then, comparisons arise only among objects 
of the same species, and by comparison the Father 
has been called greater than the Son, then the 
Son is consubstantial with the Father. But there 
is another idea which is contained in this expression. 
Wiiat wonder is it that He confessed the Father 
greater than Himself, He who is the Word and 
was made flesh, ^ since He was seen to be inferior 
both to the angels in glory and to men in form ? 
For it is said : " Thou hast made him a little less 
than the angels ";2 and again: ^^ Who was made 
a little lower than the angels "; ^ and: "We have 
seen Him, and He hath neither form nor comeli- 
ness . . ., and His form was deficient before all 
men."* All these things He endured on account 
of His exceeding love for the work of His creation, 
that He might rescue the lost sheep, and restore it 
to the flock after He had saved it; and that He 
might bring back again in good health to his own 
country the man who "went down from Jerusalem 
to Jericho, and so fell among robbers." ^ 

What, will the heretic reproach Him even for the 
manger, wherein, being as yet speechless, He was 
nurtured by the Word ? Or will he cast up to Him 
His poverty, because He, the son of the carpenter, 

2 Psal. 8, 5. 3 Heb. 2, 9. 

* Isa. 53, 2-3. ^ Luke 10, 30. 

VOL. I. F 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAL\T BASIL 

Tov^ TeKTovo<; vl6<; ; hta rovro DaTyOO? iXdrrcov o 
T/o?, OTL 8ia ae yiyove veKp6<i, Xva ae t?)? veKpo- 
T7]T0<; airaWd^T] koI ^corj^; fi6TO)(^op eirovpaviov 
TTOLTjar) ; odcnrep dv, et tl^ kol top larpov alriwro, 
OTL GvyKVTTTwv iwl TO, TTadr) TTj^f Sv(T(i)hla^ avv- 
airoXavri, 'iva rov^ TreirovOoTa'; Idarjrat,. 

Aid ae Kal ttjv copav koI tjjv rj/iipav t^<? Kpl- 
(j€&)9 dyvoel' Kairoi ovSev \av6dvei Trjv ovtw^ 
ao(f)iav, Udvra yap Bi avrr]<; iyevero, ovSeU Be ^ 
dvO pdiTTwv TTftjTTOTe TreTTOLTjKev dyvoel. dWd 
TOVTO oUovo/JLel Bid TTJV arjv daOevetav, tva fujre 
TO) arevo) t^9 irpoOecrfiia^ ol dfjLapTy](javTe<; rfj 
dOvfila Karaireacoa-iv, &)? ov')(^ vTroXeXei/ji/jLevov 
Kacpov fxejavoia^, fi^qh^ av irdXiv ol 7ro\e/jLovPT€<; 
fjbaKpdv rfj dvTi/cei/jLevT} Bvvdjiei Bid to fjLrjKO<i rod 
y^povov XetTToraKTrjacoaiv. eKaTepov<; tolvvp Bid 
T?)9 7rpoa7roi7]Tr]<; dyvoia<; OLKovo/ier rw /xev Bid 
TOP KaXop dyoipa avpri/xpcop top xP^^^p, toj Be 
Bid Td<; diiapTLa^ Kaipop pLeTapoia<; ra/jLcevo/jLepo^. 
KaiTOi ip Tot? Kvayy€XLoi<; eavrop crvyKaTapiOfjirj- 
(Ta<; Tol<; dypoovcri Bid Tr)P tmp ttoXXcop, 009 ecprjp, 
daOepeiap' ip Tat9 Tlpd^eai tcop diroaToXwp, 0)9 
TeX€LOi<; KUT IBiap BiaXeyo/JLepo^;, Ka6' vire^aipeaip 

1 rov om. F. * ouOe^F. 

^ Cf. John 1, 3. Ylavra 5t' avTov e-yeVero, koX X^'P^^ avrov 
iyeveTo ouSe eV, h y^yovev. " All things were made by him : 
and without him was made nothing that was made." 

^ Cf. Rom. 1, 19-20. " Because that which may be known 

66 



LETTER VUl 

was not provided with a cradle ? For this reason 
is the Son less than the Father — because He became 
mortal and died for your sake, that He might free 
you from mortality and make you a sharer in 
heavenly life? It is just as if one should censure 
the physician for bending over the bed of sickness 
and breathing in the foul odours that he may heal 
the sick ! 

It is for your sake that He knows not either the 
hour or the day of judgment ; and yet nothing 
escapes the true wisdom ; for all things were made 
by it/ and no one in the world is ever ignorant of 
that which it has made.^ But thus He makes pro- 
vision because of your weakness, that, on the one 
hand, sinners may not be plunged into despair by 
the scantiness of the term allotted to them, believing 
that no opportunity is left them for repentance, and 
again, on the other hand, that those who are waging 
a long war against the opposing power may not, 
because of the length of their time, desert their 
ranks. For each of these two classes, therefore. He 
makes provision by His assumed ignorance ; for the 
one He cuts down the time in consideration of the 
good fight they are making, for the other, because of 
their sins, He disi)enses o})portunity of repentance. 
And yet in the Gospels He numbered Himself 
among the ignorant because, as I have said, of the 
weakness of the many ; and in the Acts of the 
Apostles, as if discoursing separately to the perfect, 

of God is manifest in them ; for God hath showed it unto 
them. 

" For the invisible things of him from the creation of the 
world are clearly seen, being understood b}' the things that 
are made, even His eternal power and Godhead ; so that 
they are without excuse. " 

67 

f2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

eavTOv (f)i]crLV, Ov^ ^f^^^ earl yucovac ypovov^ 7) 
fcatpov<; ou<; 6 Uarijp edero ev rfj Ihia i^ovaia. 

Kal ravra fiev Kara rrjv irporepav iirL/SoXrjv 
elpyjadco iTa'X^vTepov. rjhr] 8e e^ejaariov vy^nfK,6- 
repov rr]v Sidvoiav rod f)7]Tov kclI Kpovcrriov T7]V 
Ovpav Ty)<; yvoocrew^, el 7rco<; Svvijdelrjv i^eyelpai 
Tov olfCoEea-TTOTTjv, Tov Tou? 7rv€v/jLaTiKov<i aprov^ 
ScSovra TOL^i alrovcLv avrov, iTretSr] cpiXoi Koi 
aS€X(f)OL elcTLv oO? kaTLaaai aTTovSd^o/iev. 

01 dycoL piaOijTal tov Swt/}/?©? jj/icov iireKeiva 

66copia<;, &)9 evL dvOpMiroL'^, iXOovre^ kuI KaBap- 

6ePT€<; cLTTo TOV Xoyov, to Te\o<; iin^rjTovai koI 

Tr]v ia')(^dT}]V fiaicapLOTrjTa yvoovaL irodovaLV, oirep 

dyvoelv koi tov<; dyyekov^ avTOv Kal avTOv 6 K.v- 

pLO<; r)/jL(x)p cLTre^rjvaTO' rjfjLepav fiev Xeywv iraaav 

TTjv aKpi/Sr] KaTaXi-jylnv toov iiTLvoLcou tov Seov, 

copav Se TTjv €vd8o<; koX fxovdho^ dewpiav, mv ttjv 

eldrjcnv fiovw TrpocreveL/jie tS HaTpL vttovoo) 

Toivvv OTL ifcecvo XeyeTai irepl eavTov elSevat, 6 

0eo9 0776 p icTTL, KUKclvo fiT] elBivac, oirep ovk eoTi. 

BL/catoavp)]V fiep yap Kal aocpiap XeyeTai elSepai 6 

0eo?, avTohiKaioavPTj Kal ao^ia vnapxcop, dStKLap 

Se Kal TTOprjpiap dypoelp' ov yap eaTLP ciBiKLa Kal 

TTOPrjpia KTLcra<; r}/jid<; 06O9. el tolpvp iKetPO 

XeyeTai irepl eavTOv elSivac 6 ©eo? onep eVrt, 

KcLKelpo /jlt) elBepuL oirep ovk eaTiP {ovk eaTi he 6 

Kvpio<i rjfjLcop KUTa ttjp Tr}<i epap9pQ)7n]a6co<i eVt- 
68 



LETTER VIII 

He says,^ evidently to the exclusion of Himself: 
''It is not for you to know the times or moments 
Nvliich the Father liath put in his own power." 

Let so much suffice in a rough way for the fulfil- 
ment of our first purpose. I must now examine 
more deeply into the meaning of the expression, 
and must knock at the gate of knowledge, if in any 
way I may be able to awaken the Master of the 
house, who gives spiritual bread to those who ask 
for it, inasmuch as those whom we desire to entertain 
are friends and brothers. 

Our Saviour's holy disciples, having been brought to 
the highest degree of speculative knowledge attain- 
able by man, and made clean by the Word,- now 
enquire about the end, and long to know the ulti- 
mate felicity, of which our Lord declared that both 
His angels and He were ignorant; for by "day" 
He meant the accurate comprehension in its entirct}^ 
of the purposes of God, by 'Miour " the contempla- 
tion of oneness and aloneness, the knowledge of 
which He assigned to the Father alone. Therefore 
I presume that God is said to know about Himself 
that which is, and not to know that which is not. 
For God is said to know justice and wisdom, being 
Himself justice and wisdom, but to be ignorant of 
unrighteousness and wickedness ; for the God who 
made us cannot be injustice and ignorance. If, 
therefore, God is said to know about Himself that 
which is, and not to know that which is not ; and if 
our Lord, according to the design of the incarnation 

1 Acts 1, 7. 

- Cf. John 15. 3. "HStj v/xus KaOapol i(rT€, 5ia rhv Xoyov *ov 
\e\d\r]Ka vixlv. " Xow you are clean by reason of the word, 
which I have spoken to 3'ou." 

69 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

voiav Kal iraxvTepav SiBaaKaXlav to eaxc^rov 
opeKTOv), ovK dpa olSev 6 ^corrjp ijfiwv to t€\o9 
Kal TYjV €(7)(dT7]v /jLaKapioTTjTa. dXX! ovhe ol 
dyyeXot, (prjauv, taaar Toureartv, ov^e rj iv 
avrol^ Oewpla fcal ol Xoyoi rcov BiaKovLcov elal to 
eaxciTov opsKTOv. irayela yap kol tovtwv r] 
yv(oaL<; avyKplaet tov TrpoacoTTov tt/oo? irpocrayiTov. 
^lovo^ he 6 YlaTrjp, (pijcTLV, iiriaTaTaL, iirel ^ 
Kal auTO? icTTL TO TeA.0? /cal r} eay(^dTri iiaKapLOT'q^, 
oTav yap fjLi]K6TL (debv iv toI'; KaTowTpoL^; /jLrjSe 
Sid Tcov dWoTpiwv iTTLytvaia/ccofiei', dW avTO) 009 
jubovcp Kal ei'l irpocreXdcofiev, tote Kal to e<T)(aTov 
T€\o<; elaopieOa. XpiaTov yap /SaatXelav^ ^aalv 
elvai 770.(7 av ti-jv evvXov ypcoaiv tov Be &eov Kal 
naT/30? T7]v di'Xov, Kal &)? dv etiroL tl<^, avTrj<; Tr}<^ 
OeoTrjTO^ dewpiav. eaTC Se Kal 6 Kvpio^; i^jiwv 
Kal avT0<^ TO Te\o9 Kal 1) ea^aTri pLaKapioTTjf; 
KaTa TTjv TOV A070L' eTTivoLav, TL ydp (ptjaiv iv 
TCt) YivayyeXiw ; KdyoD dvacTT/jcrco avTov iv Trj 
ia^aTT] y]p,epa' dvdcTTaaiv Xeycov ti-jv diro Trj<; 
ivvXov yvcoae(o<; iirl ttjp dvXov decoplav fieTd- 
^acnv, ia)(^dT7]v Be rj^epav tijv yvcbaiv TavTrjv 
eliroov, fied' fjv ovk ecFTiv eTepa. TrjvcKavTa ydp 
6 vov<; rjficov e^aviaTaTai Kal Trpo'^ i;v|ro? fxaKapiov 

^ €7rei57j F. 

* In niarg. ti Icti xP'O'tcC fiaal\eta F. 

^ B}- Tra)(vTepau, "denser," Basil seems to mean acquired 
or empirical knowledge; cf. beginning of second paragraph 
below, "But since our intellect made dense by its earthlj' 
covering," etc. Cf. Is. (3, 10. "Make the heart of this 
people fat (inaxvvOr}), and make their ears heavy, and shut 
their eyes ; lest they see with their e3^es, and hear with their 

70 



LETTER VIII 

and empirical knowledtre/ is not the ultimate end 
desired ; then our Saviour does not know the end, 
that is, the ultimate felicity. But not even the 
angels, He says,- know ; that is, not even the con- 
templation which is in them nor the principles of 
their ministries are the ultimate end desired. For 
even their knowledge, in comparison with the know- 
ledge which is face to face, is dim and obscure.^ 

Only the Father, He says, knows; and this is 
])ecause He Himself is the end, that is, the ultimate 
felicity. For when we no longer know God in a 
mirror or through any alien medium, but approach 
Him as ^^ alone" and "one," then we shall know 
also the ultimate end. For they say that Christ's 
kingdom is all our material knowledge, but God's 
and the Father's the immaterial, that is, as one 
might say, the contemplation of divinity itself. But 
our Lord Himself is also the end, that is, the ulti- 
mate felicity, according to the design of the Word. 
For what does He* say in the Gospel? "And I 
will raise him up in the last day"; meaning by 
"raising up" the transition from material know- 
ledge to immaterial contemj)lation, and signifying 
by "last day" that knowledge beyond which no 
other knowledge exists. For only then is our mind 
arisen, and awakened to sublime felicity, when it 

ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be 
healed." Cf. also Matt. 13, 15 ; Acts 28, 27. 

^ Cf. Mark 13, 32. Flepl 5e ttjs 7]fx4pas e/ceii'Tjs Kol ttjs ciipas 
owSels olSev, ouSe ol ayyeXoi ol ev ovpavcf, oude 6 u/Jy, ej ^tj 6 
irar-np. "But of that da}' or hoar no man knoweth, neither 
the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father," 

* Cf. edition of (Jarnier-Maran, ad. Ice. 

* John 6, 40. 

71 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

hieyeiperai, oirriviKa av Oecopjjar] rrjv ivdBa Kal 
fxovdBa Tov Aoyov. 

'AXX! iirechr) 'iTa')(yv6e\^ rjficjv 6 vov<; rw y^ol 
avveheOrf koI tw tttjjXw crviK^vperai fcal yjriXy rfj 
Oewpia evarevi^eiv dSvvarel, Slcl tmv av^/yevcov 
TOV (7(t)/jLaT0<; avTOv Koafiwv 7roh7]'yov/JL€PO<;, rds 
€V€py€La<; rod KTiarov fcaravoel kol ravra Ik tmv 
airoreXecT fidrow Te&)9 eTTLyivcoa/cei, lv ovtw Kara 
fjLLKpov av^r]6el<; la-^var] irore Kal avrfj yv/juvfj 
TrpocreXOelv rfj OeoTi^n. Kara Tavrrjv Se olfMat 
TTjV eiTLVOLav elprjaOai kol to 'O Uarijp fxov 
/jL€L^a)v fiov iarc, Kal to Ovk eaTLV epiov hovvai, 
aXX' oU rjTOL/iaaTai viro tov TTar/jo?. tovto 
yap i(7TL Kal to irapahovvai ttjv PaaiXeiav tov 
apio-Tov TGtJ 066J Kal UaTpl, diTapxv^ ovTa Kal 
ov Te\o<; KaTCL ttjv 'Tra')(VTepav, a)<; ecprjv, StSa- 
aKaXiav, rjTi<^ o)? tt/jo? r)/xd<;, Kal ov tt/jo? avTov 
TOV Tlov OewpeiTaL. otl he Tav6* ovtco<; e')(^£i, 
irdXtv €pct)T)jcraa-L toU /laOi-jTaU iv rat? Upd^eai 
TOiv dirodToXwv to IToTe diroKadio-TaveU ttjv 
(BaaiXeiav tm ^\apai]\; (f^'tjalv, Ou^ r]p.o)v ^ eVrt 

^ V/JLCtiU F. 

^ In a similar way Basil speaks in Letter VI of '* the 
beauties of the earth "' (ra irept yrjv kccAAt?) ; and in his com- 
mentary on Isaias, the Church is spoken of as '•'adorned 
with ornaments whicli become it" ilpiirovffiv eayrfj Korrfxiois 
K€KO(ruriuevr]). Cf. also Gregory of Xazianzus, Letter CVII. 

2 John 14, 28. ^ ^j^tt. 20, 23. 

* Cf. 1 Cor. 15, 24. 'Elraro T€\o^, orau TrapaS'^' ttjv ^aaiKeiav 
T^ Qe£ Koi trarpi, orau k arop-yr; tr?? Tra.(rau apxriu Kal ivaaav i^ov- 
aiav Kal ^vvafxiv. "Afterwards the end, when he shall have 
delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father, when he 
shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, and 
virtue." 

72 



LETTER VIII 

shall contemplate the " Oneness " and the " Alone- 
ness " of the Word. 

But since our intellect, made dense by its earthy- 
covering, is im})risoned and mixed with the clay, so 
that it cannot gaze steadfastly upon pure contem- 
plation, strictly guided as it is by the adornments^ 
that are akin to its own body, it strives to comj)re- 
hend the activities of the Maker, judging these in 
the meantime from their effects, to the end that in 
this way, gradually growing in strength, it may one 
day acquire the power to approach the unveiled 
divinity itself. It is, I think, in accordance with 
this conception that the words were si)oken : " The 
Father is greater than I," ^ and " It is not Mine to 
give, but to them for whom it is })repared by My 
Father," ^ For this is also what is meant by Christ's 
delivering up the kingdom to God and the Father,* 
since Christ is the first fruits ^ and not the end, accord- 
ing, as I have said, to the empirical knowledge, that 
which speculates with reference to us and not with 
reference to the Son Himself. And that this is so 
is made clear by His answer to the disciples in the 
Acts of the Apostles when they asked ^ for the 
second time : " When wilt Thou restore again the 
kingdom to Israel? " and He replied,*^ " It is not for 

" Cf. 1 Cor. 15, 20. Nnj/l 5e Xpiaros iyqyepTai Ik veKpwv, 
aTrapxv rwv KeKoi/xrjuifccv eyeVero. "But DOW is Christ risen 
from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that 
slept.'' Cf. also 1 Cor. 15, 23. 

^ Cf. Actsl, 6. Ot fxev oZu avueXOSi'Tes inrjp'jcTuv avrhv Xeyov- 
Tes, Kvpif, el iv rcf XP^^'V Tovrcf a-noKaBiaravei^ ttji' ^aaiXeiav 
rw 'l(rpa-fi\. " They therefore who were come togetlier. asked 
Him, saying: Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the 
kingdom to Israel? " 

' Acts 1, 7. 

73 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

^VMvai ^(poi'OVf; rj /caLpoix; ou? 6 Uarrjp eOero iv 
Tjj Ihia e^ovaia, rovriaTLV, ov twv avvhehefxevcov 
orapfcl Kal alfiUTL t?}? roiavrr]^ ^aatXeua^ rj 
yvcoaL<;. 

TavT7]v yap ti]v Oewpiav 6 Uarrjp evaireOero 
rfj Ihia e^ovaia' i^ovalav Xiycov tov<; i^ovaia^o- 
[ievov<i, IBiav^ he, ov<;^ jjlt] /cari^ei,^ ayvoia rcov 
KaTcorepco irpayfidrcov. p^poi^of? Se koI Kaipov^ pirj 
fjLOL voeL aladjjTOix;, aWa Biaar^juLard riva yvco- 
aew^ VTTO Tou votjtov rjXiov ycvo/jLeva. Sel yap 
Tj]v irpoo-ev^^ijv eKeiV7]v iirl irepa^ d-)(6rjvai rod 
AeaTTOTOv rjfjLcov ^Irjaov^; yap ianv 6 irpoaev^d- 
/j.epo<;, Ao9 avTol<;, Iva Kal avrol iv yfitv ev ayai, 
KaOoo^ iyo) Kal av ev iafiev, Udrep, el? yap cov 
6 0609, eV eKdcTTcp yiv6fi€vo<;, evol tol/? 7rdvTa<;' 
Kal aTToWuraL o dpiOpLO'^ rfj Tfj<; /jLovddo<; irriBrj/iia. 

K.dycD /jLev ovrco^ eire^aXov rw pr^rui Kara rrjv 
hevrepav iirLy^eip^icriv, el Be ti<; /SeXrcov Xeyoi ?/ 
htopOolrj €ucr6/3w? ra ij/ierepa, Kal Xeyerco Kal 
8iop6ova6co, Kal 6 Kvpio'^ avrawoBooa-eL virep 
i]fi(ov. ovBeU yap Trap' 'tjpA.v avXi^erac ^66vo<;, 
OTL /jLTjBe (j)iXoveiKla<; eveKev rj Kevoho^ia^ eirl 
TTjifBe rrjv e^eracriv tcov prjfidrwv Ke-^copi-jKafxev, 

^ iS/ov Capps ; j'St'ovs MSS. and edd. ^ uvY. 

3 /i€TeX€I F. 

^ I.e. the days and hours of inner experience marked hy a 
time-keeper witliin us. 

74 



LETTER VIII 

you to know the times or tlie moments^ which the 
Father hath })ut in His own power;" that is to say, 
the knowledge of such a kingdom does not belong 
to those who are imprisoned by flesii and blood. 

This contemplation the Father has placed in His 
own power: by "power" He means those who are 
empowered, by " His own," those who are not held 
down by their ignorance of things below. By " times 
and moments" pray do not understand those of 
sense, but certain distinctions of knowledge caused by 
the sun perceptible to the mind.^ For that prayer of 
our Master's must needs be fulfilled ; since it is Jesus 
who jM-ayed : " Grant unto them that they also may 
be one in us, even as I and Thou, Fatlier, are one." ^ 
That is, God being one, and being in each, unifies 
all ; and number is destroyed by the indwelling of 
the unity. 

Such is my second attempt to deal with the text. 
If anyone can interpret it better, or amend our words 
in a spirit of reverence, let him both interpret and 
amend, and the Lord will reward him on our behalf. 
For no envy abides in our heart, because we were 
not led through rivalry or vanity to enter upon 
this investigation of the passages, but for the 

" Cf. John 17, 20-2'2. Ov irepl tovtccv Se ipwTO) /.louof, aWa 
Kol irep] Tu>v iriarevaovToiv 8ta roO \6you avTcov els ejj.4- %va 
irduTes ev Sxrr Kadu:s crv, Trarep, iu ejxoi, Kayu iv oo'i, "va Koi 
avToi iv T]p.1v %u SxTiv- 'Iva 6 Koajxas iriaieixTT] on au /ne air^aniKas. 
Koi €7')) tV Zo^av T]V Se5a)/fas ixoi, Sed'jcKa avToh, 'iva Siffiv eV, KaQus 
r]fj.€7s eV ia-fiev. "And not for them onh' do I pray, but for 
them also who through their word shall believe in Me ; 

" That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in ^le, and 
I in Thee ; that the}' also may be one in us ; that the world 
may believe that Thou hast sent Me. 

" And the glory which Thou hast given Me, I have given 
to them ; that they may be one, as we also are one." 

75 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aXX* cix^eXeta? eve/cev twv aBeX^cov, virep rov fir] 
hoKelv TrapaKpoveaOac ra oarpaKiva crK€V7], ra 
Tov drjaavpov €)(^ovTa rod (deou, viro tmv XlOo- 
Kaphicov /col a7r€pi.T/j.i]T(ov avOpcoTTCOV, rcov Ik t^9 

TldXiv Slcl tov ao(j)OV ^o\oijlcovto<; Iv Tlapoi- 
/jLLai^ KeKTiajai} KvpLo<; yap, (j)y]aiv, exTiae jie. 
KoX cip')(r) oBmv evayyeXiKoov ovopd^eraL, dyovaoiv 
r}p,d<; 7r/509 rrjv j^acriXelav tcov ovpavwv, ov kut 
ovaiav KTiai^, dWd Kara rrjv oiKovo/J-Lav 6Bd(; 
yeyov(o<;. to yap yeyovkvai koI to eKTiaOai Tav- 
Tov SrjXoL. 0)9 yap oSo'^ yeyove, kuI 6vpa, Kal 
TTOt/jiyjv, Kal ayy€\o<;, Kal irpofiaTov, Kal irdXiv 
dpxiep^i^^ Kal dirocTToXo';, dWcov KaT dW^jv 
iiTLVoiav TCOV ovopaTwv Kecp^ivcov. 

Tl dv eliTOL ttoXlv 6 alpeTiKo^ irepl tov dwrro- 
TaKTOV Seov Kal tov St' 77 /xa? dp.apTiav'^ 7676- 
V7]p,6Vov ; yeypaiTTai yap, "OTav viroTayfj avTW 
Ta irdvTa, tote Kal avTO^ Tio? v7roTayt]a€Tai, 
TO) viroTa^avTi avTw Ta irdvTa. ov <f)o^fj, dv9- 
pwire, TOV ®e6v dvviroTaKTOv ovopa^opevov ; ^ Tip 
yap (jr]V VTTOTayrjv ISiav iroietTai, Kal iv tc3 dvTC- 
Telveiv ae irpo^ ttjv dpeT7]v, dvviroTaKTOV eavTOV 
ovopd^ei. ovTco iroTe Kal kavTOV €(j)y] eliat tov 

^ KTi^erai F. ^ a/xapTias F. ^ 5:a ere add. F. 

^ Cf. 2 Cor. 4, 6—7. "Oxi 6 0ebs 6 elircbv (k (Tkotovs <p(vs Xafi^^ai, 
hs e\aiJ.\pep iu rais Kapdlais 7],uaii', Trpos (pccTLafihu rrjs -yvciaews 
TTjy l6^7]s Tuv 0eoi5 iv irpoawTrcp 'irjaov Kpiarov. 

"Exo/J-ev Se rhv 67}(Tavphy tovtov iv ocrrpaKivoiS aK^vecriv, 'iva f] 
virfp^oXr) rrjs Bwd/uLecos 77 rov ©eoC, Kal /j.^ i- tjU-ccv. 

" For God, who commanded the light to shine out of dark- 
ness, hath sliined in our hearts, to give the liglit of the 
knowledge of the glory of Ciod in the face of Jesus Christ. 
76 



LETTER VIII 

benefit of our brothers, lest the earthen vessels ^ 
which contain the treasure of God should seem to 
be deceived by those stony-hearted and uncircum- 
cised men, who have armed themselves with their 
foolish wisdom. 

Again, according to the words of the wise Solomon ^ 
in the Proverbs, He was created ; " For," he says, 
'^the Lord created me." And He is called, '^the 
beginning of the evangelical ways " — the ways which 
lead us to the kino-dom of heaven; being not a creature 
in substance, but having become a " way " accord- 
ing to the ''^divine dispensation." For '^becoming" 
and " beinff created " have the same signification. For 
just as He became a way, so too He became a gate, 
a shepherd, an angel, a sheep, and again a high 
priest and an apostle ; ^ different names being applied 
for different notions. 

Again, what would the heretic say about the 
^' unsubjected " God and Him who was made sin * for 
us } For it is written : '' And when all things shall 
be subdued unto Him, then the Son also Himself 
shall be subject unto Him that put all things under 
Him." ^ Are you not afraid, sir, of the God who is 
called "unsubjected" } For He makes your subjection 
His own, and, because you struggle against virtue, 
He calls Himself " unsubjected." In this sense too 
He once spoke of Himself as " Him who was perse- 

" But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the 
excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." 

2 Prov. 8, 22. 3 Heb. 3, 1. ^ 

* Cf. 2 Cor. 5, 21. Thv yh.p /jltj yuSura afiaprlau, virep tjucov 
auapTiay iirolr](T€U, "va rj/LLi^s yiucofxeda SiKaiocrvvr] Qeov iv avTc^. 

"Him, who knew no sin, He hath made sin for us, that 
we might be made the justice of God in Him." 

6 1 Cor. 15, 28. 

77 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

hLcoKOfievov, XauXe y(ip, (l)y]crl, XavXe, tl /jlc Bio)- 
/c€L<^ ; rjVL/ca iirl Aa/juaaKov erpex^t tou? /jLaOrjTa<; 
Tov Xyo^cTToO avvSrjcraL l3ov\6fievo<^. koI ttciXlv 
kavTOv 'yviivov ovofid^eL, kv6<^ tivo<; tcov aSeXcficov 
yv/jLvr)T6V0VT0^, Tv/JLv6<; jap, (f)r)atv, rjfjbrjv, koX 
irepLe^aXeTe fie. Kai, ciXkov ev (f)v\aKy 6vro<;, 
kavTov €(f)r) elvai rov KaOeLpyfievov. avro^; yap 
ra? aaOevia^ ^ 7)fjLcov ype kuI ra? v6aov<; i/3daT- 
aae. fMia Se tcov dadereicov earl kol i) 
dvvTTOTa^ia, Kal TavTi]u i/Sdaraae. 8co kol rd 
aufiffaivovTa rj/jLtv irepLaTaTLKa IBiOTroLelrai, 6 
KvpLO<;, i/c T^9 Trpo'i rj/id'^ KOLvwvia^ rd rfpLerepa 
irdOrj dvahe^o/JLevo'^. 

^AWd Kol TO Ov hvvarai 6 Tl6<; iroielv d(ji 
eavTov ovBev, Xa/i/Sdvovacv ol deofid^^ot iirl Kara- 
(TTpo(pfj TCOV aKovovTwv. ifiol Be Kal tovto to 
pTjTOV p,d\t(7Ta KaTayyiWei Trj<; avT7]<; <j)vae(o<; 
elvai TOV Tiov tcS HaTpL el yap eKaaTOv tcov 
XoyLKcbv KTiap^dTcov BvvaTaL tl Troietv d(p' eavTov, 
avTe^ovaiov ^ ^^(ov tt]v eVl to x^^P^^ "^^ ^^^ 
KpeiTTOv f)07r/]v, 6 Be T/o? ov BvvaTat tl ircLelv 
d(p^ kavTOv, ov KTiCTfjua 6 T/o?. el Be fxr) KTicr/jLa, 
opLOovaLO^ TO) UaTpL Kal irdXLv, ovBev tcov ktlcf- 
fjidTcov Ta oaa ^ovXeTUL BvvaTai. 'O Be Tio<i 
ev Tco ovpavw Kal eirl t^? 77)9 irdvTa oaa r)9e- 
\t](rev eTTOLtjaev. ovk dpa KTLafia 6 Tt6<;. Kal 

^ aa-devia^ F, a/xaprias editi. 
2 Ka\ U7]j add. F. 

1 Acts 9, 4. 2 ]^jatt. 25, 36. 

^ Of. Is. 53, i. OvTOi Taj a/jLaprias ri/j.ct)V (pepei Kai irepi t^/xwv 
o^vvarai, Kal tj/xus i\oyi<Ta./j.e6a avrov eluai, iy ir6ucf} Kal ip TrArjyfj 
Kal iv KaKwaei. "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and 

78 



LETTER VllI 

cuted " ; for He says/ '^ Saul, Saul, why persecutest 
thou Me ? " wlien Saul was rushing to Damascus, wish- 
ing to imprison the disciples of Christ. And again Me 
calls Himself ^'naked/' when someone of His brethren 
is naked ; for He says,^ " I was naked, and you 
covered Me." And when another was in prison, He 
said that He Himself was the one who was confined. 
For He Himself took up our infirmities and bore our 
sickness.^ Now one of our infirmities is lack of sub- 
jection, and this He bore. Therefore it is that 
whatever adversities befall us, these the Lord makes 
His own, through His fellowship with us assuming 
our sufferings. 

God's enemies use also the following quotation ^ 
for the overthrow of those who listen to them : " The 
Son cannot do anything of Himself." But to me 
this statement likewise proclaims in a special manner 
that the Son is of the same nature as the Father. 
For if every creature endowed with reason can do 
anything by itself, having the inclination to the 
better and worse entirely within its own power, and 
the Son can do nothing by Himself, then the Son is 
no creature. And if He is no creature. He is con- 
substantial with the Father. Again, no creature 
can do all that it wishes. But the Son in heaven 
and on earth did everything that He desired. There- 
fore the Son is not a creature. Again, all creatures 

carried our sorrows : yet we did esteem Him stricken, 
smitten of God, and atMicted." 

Matt. 8, 17. "Ottcds TrXripwO^ rh prjOev Sia 'Haaiov tov Trpo(j>r]Tov, 
\4yovros, Avrhs ras acrdii^eias rj/uLwv I^Ka&e, Koi ras p6(rovs 
i^affTaaeu. "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken 
by Esaias the prophet, saying. Himself took our infirmities, 
and bore our sickness." 

* John 5, 19. 

79 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ttoXlv, TTcLVja ra KTicr/jLara rj eK tmv ivavrioiv 
avvearrjKev rj tcov ivavTiwv iarl Be/CTL/cd, 6 Be 
Tto? avToSL/caioavvrj Koi aifko^ iarLV. ovk apa 
KTicr/ia 6 T/o?. €1 Be /jltj tovto, 6/jLoovaio<; rw 
TlarpL. 

K.al avTi') fiev avTapicri^ 7]/j,lv rj i^eraai^; /cara 
T7]v BvvajjLiv TTjv r}/ieTepav tcov 7e6evT(ov prjTOiv- 
riBrj Be Xoittov koX 7Tpo<; tov<; avTiTTiirrovTa^; tw 
YlvevfxarL tw ayiw tw Xoyo) x^PW^f^-^> KaOat- 
povvTe<; avTOjv irav vyjrco/jia Biavoia^ eiraLpopuevov 
Kara tt)? yvooaew^; tou Qeov. KTca-fia Xeyet? to 
Tlvevfia to dyiov. ttclv Be KTia/ia BovXov eaTi 
Tov KTL(TavTo<i' Td ycLp crvfjLTravTa, ^rjcri, BouXa 
ad. el Be BovXov eaTL,^ Kal iiTLKTTjTOv e;^6t ttjv 
djtoTTjTa' TTCLV Be e-TiKTriTOV ex^i' T'qv dyLOTr^Ta 
OVK dveiTiBeKTOv eVrt KaKla<;. to Be Ylvevfia to 
dyiov, fCUT ovaiav ov dyiov, irrjyr] dycacr/jLOv 
Trpoa-rjyopevTai.^ ovk dpa KTuafxa to Uvevfxa to 
dyiov. el Be /irj KTuafia, ofioovaLOV eaTi tw 06&). 
TTci)? Be BovXov diroKaXeU, elire fiOL, tov Bid tov 
ySaTTTtcTyLtaTO? eXevOepovvTd ae r?}? oofXeta? ; 'O 
ydp v6[xo<;, (prjal, tov YivevixaTO^ t/}? fo)?}? -qXev- 
depwae fie ^ diro tov v6/iov t^? dfxapTLa<;. dXX^ 
ovBe Tpe7TTi]v avTOv ttotc ttjv ovaiav ToX/iijaeif; 
elTrelv, d^opoiv 669 ttjv (f)vaiv t/)? avTiKetfievrj^; 
Bvvd/jLea)<;, rjTL^i &)? daTpairr] ireTTTcoKev diro tov 

^ i(TTi om. F. ^ npocrayopiveTai F. 

3 ere F. 

^ Basil douhtless has in mind the famous passage of St. 
Paul, Rom. 7, 15-25. 
2 2 Cor. 10, 5. 

8o 



LETTER VIII 

«ire either constituted of antagonistic inclinations or 
are susceptible of them.^ But the Son is Righteous- 
ness itself and immaterial. Therefore the Son is 
not a creature. And if He is not a creature, He is 
consubstantial with the Father. 

This examination of the passages cited, having 
been made to the best of our ability, will suffice for 
our purpose. We will now advance our argument 
against those who opj^ose the Holy Spirit, endeavour- 
ing to lay low all that haughtiness of spirit of theirs 
which " exalteth itself against the knowledge of 
God." 2 You assert that the Holy Spirit is a 
creature. But every creature is the slave of its 
creator; '^ for all things serve thee," ^ He says. 
And if He is a slave, the holiness which He possesses 
is an acquired attribute ; and everything which 
possesses holiness as an acquired attribute is not 
susceptible of evil. But the Holy Spirit, being holy 
by His very substance, has been called "the fount of 
sanctification." * Therefore the Holy Spirit is not a 
creature. And if He is not a creature, He is con- 
substantial with God. But how, tell me, can you 
call him a slave mIio frees you from slavery through 
baptism .^ '^For," he says,^ ^^the law of the spirit of 
life hath delivered me from the law of sin." But 
neither will you ever dare to call His substance 
changeable, if you will consider the nature of the 
opposing power, which like a flash of lightning fell 

3 Psal. 119, 91. 

* Cf. Rom. 1, 4. TTuevfjLa ayioocrvvrjs, "spirit of sanctifi- 
cation." 

5 Cf. Rom. 8, 2. "For the law of the spirit of life, in 
Christ Jesus, hath delivered me from the law of sin and of 
death." 

8i 

VOL. I. O 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ovpavov, Kal i^iireae r/}? 6vto)<; ^(ofj<; Bia to eVt- 
KTrjTOV ea')(^rjKevaL Tr)v dyioTrjra Kal iTTi^KoXovOr)- 
Kevai rfi KaKfj fiovXfj T-qv aWolcoaiv. roiyapovv 
Kal GKireaoov tT^? fxovdho'^ Kal to dyyeXcKOP (nrop- 
pi^\ra<i d^icofia, cltto tov Tpoirov odVOfxdaOrj Sid- 
ffo\o<;, d7roa(3ea6eiai)<^ fiev avTov r?)? 7rpoTepa<; 
Kal /jLaKapLa<; e^eco<;, t;'}? Se dvTLKeLfxevri<; TavTrj<; 
hvvdfiew^ dva^Oeiarj'^. 

"ETre^ra el KTiafxa Xeyei^ to Hvevjia to dyiov, 
ireirepaTwiievr^v Trjv (f)vatv avTov eladyec. ttw? 
ovv aTa6)](T€Tai to Uvev/jLa Kvplov TreirXrjpcoKe 

TTjV OLKOV/JLevrjV, Kal TO IloV TTOpevOo) dlTO TOV 

YivevpLaTO<^ aov ; dXX* ov8' dirXovv avTO ttj 
(jivaei, ft)? eoiKev, ofioXoyet, dpiOixw yap ev avTO 
ovop.d^6L. irdv he o ev dpiOfiw, tovto ov)( aTrXovv, 
ft)? ejirjv, cVrtV. €6 he pLrj dirXovp eaTl to Uvev/jia 
TO dytov, e'f ovcria<; Kal dyiaap^ov avpeaTJjKe' to 
he TOLovTov avvOeTov. Kal ti<; oi/to)? dvorjTO^ co? 
(TvvOeTOv elirelv to YLvevp^a to dyiov, Kal firj 
dirXovv Kal KaTa tov t/}? dirXoTi^TO^; Xoyov 
opLOovaLOv TlaTpl Kal Tia> ; 

Et he hel irpof^rjvaL ^ tw Xoyco Kal eTTOTrrevaai 
TCL pei^ova, Ik tovtov pidXtcrTa ttjv OeiKTjv hvvap,cv 
TOV dyiov IIvevpiaTo<; OecopyjacopLev. rpet? KTiaei<i 
evprjKapiev 6vopLa^opLeva<; ev ttj Tpacpfj' piiav p,ev 
Kal 7rp(t)Ti]v, TTjv diTO TOV pLi] 6vT0<; et? TO elvai 

^ Xfjoi F. 2 irpoa-^qvai F. 

^ Cf. Luke 10, 18. Elne Se avTo7s, ^Ed^wpovv rhv "XaTavav 
us atTTparrrju e/c tov ovpavov TreaouTU. "And He said uuto 
them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." 

^ Cf. Letter CCIV, where the name didfio\os is more 

82 



LETTER VIII 

iVoin lieaven/ and tell out of the true lite^ all because 
its holiness was an acquired attribute and its change 
a consequence of its evil desire. Accordingly, 
after it fell out of the aloneness and cast aside its 
angelic dignity, from its character it received the 
name of Devil,'- its former state of felicity having 
now been extinguished and this opposing power 
having been enkindled. 

Furthermore, if the heretic asserts that the Holy 
Spirit is a creature, the nature he ascribes to it is 
circumscribed. How then can the following state- 
ments stand : '' The spirit of the Lord hath filled 
the whole world," ^ and, "Whither shall I go from 
thy spirit " ? * But he goes still farther, as it seems, 
and will not admit that the Holy Spirit is simple, 
either. For he calls Him one in number. But, as 
I have said, not everything which is one in number 
is necessarily simple. And if the Holy Spirit is 
not simple. He is made up of substance and of 
sanctity, and as such is composite. Who is so 
foolish as to call the Holy Spirit composite and not 
simple, and yet, according to the very definition of 
simplicity, consubstantial with the Father and the 
Son? 

Now if we are to go forward with the argument 
and examine higher subjects, let us next contem])late 
more particularly the divine power of the Holy 
Spirit. We find three creations mentioned in the 
Scriptures; one, and the first, the eduction from 

immediately connected with hia^aW^iv "to calumniate."' 
Aia^oKos alone is used several times in the Bible in the sense 
of slanderer, but b did&oXos is applied par excellence to the 
"Slanderer"' as the prince of devils and the author of evil. 
» Wis. 1, 7. * Psal. 138, 7. 

83 
q2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TTapaywyi'jV' Sevripav 5e, ttjv cltto rod ')(eipovo^ 
eU TO KpeiTTOv dWoLcocTiv' TpLTi]v Be, rrjv i^avd- 
aracnv rwv veKpoov. iv Tavrai^ evpi'-jaeL^ avv- 
€pyou Harpl koX Tim to dyiov Uvevpia. ov- 
pavoiv yap ovaiwai'^. Kal tl (py]aLv 6 Aa/SIB ; 
T« \6y(p K.upLov 01 ovpavol eaTepecoOijaav, Kal 
Tu> TTvev/jLari, tov (JTOfxaTo^ avTOv irdaa 7) hvvafJLL^ 
avTcov. irdXiv dvOpwTTO^ Bid /5a7rTtcr/i,aT09 /crtf- 
€TaL, Et Tf9 yap iv l^piaTw, /caivr) KTuai';. Kal 
TL (p7]ai TOL<; jjLaOrjTal^; 6 ^wTi'-jp ; W7r6\66vTe<; 
fxaOi^Tevaare irdvra ra eOvrj, ^aTTTL^ovTC'^ 
avTov<; eh to ovofxa tov TlaTpo<; Kal tov 
Tlov Kal tov dyiov Ilvevfiaro^;. opa^ KavTavda 
(Tv/jLTTapov Harpl Kal Tlw to dytov Hvev/ia. tl 
h' dv eliroL'^ Kal irepl t^v dvaaTdae(jd<; rwv 
veKpoiv, orav eKXei^wfiev, Kal eU rov X^^^ rj/x(ov 
eiriarpey^rwpev ; Vi) ydp ecrpev Kal eU j-r]V yrjv 
drreXevao/xeda, Kal ^ AiroareXel to Yivevfia to 
dyiov Kal Krlaec r}fjLd<i, Kal dvaKaLviaei to 
iTpoacoirov r^? y/]?. rjv ydp TiavXo^ 6 dyt,o^ 
i^avdaraaiv etpifKe, ravr-qv AafilB dvaKaivia/jLov 
TTpodrjyopevae, 

^AKOvawp^ev Be irdXiv rov ap7rayevT0<; ea)9 
rpLTov ovpavov. ri (j)r]aLv ; on lS^ao<; rov iv vpuv 
dyiov nz^eu/iaro? iare. 7Td<; Be vao<; Seed va6<^, 

1 Psal. 32, 6. 

2 2 Cor. o, 17. The English version translates : "If then 
any be in Christ a new creature," etc. 

3 Matt. 28, 19. 

84 



LETTER VIII 

non-being into being ; second, the cliange from 
worse to better ; and third, the resurrection of the 
dead. In all these you will find the Holy Spirit co- 
operating with Father and Son. Take, for instance, 
the calling into existence of the heavens. And 
what does David say .^ ^ " By the word of the Lord 
the heavens were established ; and all the ]iower of 
them by the spirit of His mouth." And man is 
created again through baptism, '' for if any be in 
Christ, he is a new creature." - And what does the 
Saviour^ say to His disciples ? " Going teach ye all 
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Here also 
you see the Holy Spirit present with the Father and 
the Son. And again, what would you say about the 
resurrection of the dead, when we shall have de- 
parted and returned to our dust .'* For, " Dust we 
are, and unto dust we shall return " ; * and, "^ He 
will send forth the Holy Ghost, and He will 
create us, and renew the face of the earth." ^ For 
what Saint Paul called resurrection, David described 
as renewal. 

But let us listen again to him who was snatched 
up to the third heaven. What does he say }^ " You 
are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you." 
But every temple is a temple of God. And if we 

* Cf. Gen. 3, 19. "Ort 77} ef koL els yTJu aireXcvap. "For 
dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return."' 

^ Cf. Psal. 103, 30. 'E^aTroaTe\€7s rh TTvevjiid crov kol 
KTiadj](TOVTai, Kal avaKaivie^s rh irpoawrrov Trjs yris, "Thou 
Shalt send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created : and 
thou shalt renew the face of the earth." 

^ Cf. 1 Cor. 6, 19. Th aw/xa v/jlwv vahs rov ev v/xiv ' Ayiov 
nvevuarSs iariv. "Your members are the temple of the 
Holy Ghost, who is in you."' 

85 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

el Be va6<; eajxev rod Tlv€v/iiaro<; rod dylov, S€o<; 
TO Uvevfia TO dyiov. XeyeraL ^ Be koI vao^ 
%o\o/jLCt)VTo<;, dW 0)9 KaraaKevdaavro^i. el he 
ovTco^ iafiev vao<; ^ rod dyiov IlvevfiaTO<;, ©eo9 
TO dyiov Hvev/JLa, 'O yap iravra fcaracrKevdaa^ 
0609. el Be &)9 TTpoaKwov/jLei'DV koI evoiKovvTO<^ 
ev rj/JLLV, ofjLoXoyyjacofjbev ^ avro elvai Qeov. K^vpLw 
yap T(p 060) GOV 7rpoo-/cvv7JaeL<;, Kal avrw [i6v(p 
Xarpevcrei^. el Be rrjv 0eo9 (pcovrjv irapaiTolvTO, 
IxavOavercdcav tivo^ earl atipavriKov to ovojia 
TOVTO. irapd yap to TeOeLKevat rd irdvTa rj 
OedaOai Ta TrdvTa 6* 0eo9 ovofid^eTai. el roivvv 
0609 etprjTai irapd to TeOeiKevaL rj OedaOat rd 
irdvTa, TO Be Uvev/jLa iravTa yivcoaKei Ta rov 
Seov, ft)9 TO TTvevfJLa to ev yjfilv rd rj/jieTepa, 0eo9 
ovv ^ TO UvevfjLa to dyiov. 

Kal irdXiv, el rj pdy^atpa tou Tlv€v/JLaTO<; prj/jid 
ecTTi, Qeov, 0609 to YLvev/ia to dyiov, eKelvov 
yap eaTiv ?; fid)(^aipa, ov Kal prjfia KaXeiTai. 
Kal ^ el Kal Be^td tov IlaTpo<; ovofid^erat {Ae^id 
yap Kvpiov eTToirjae Bvva/Jiiv, Kal 'H Be^id aou, 
J^vpie, eOpavaev i^^pov^), BdKTv\o<; Be Seov to 
Uvevfia TO dyiov, Kard to prjTov, to El eyco ev 
BaKTv\(p Seov eK(3dWw rd Bai/iovia' oirep ev 
erepw EvayyeXiw yeypaiTTai, to E6 eyco ev 

1 Xlyci F. ^ vaoL F. ' o/j.oXoyriaoiJ.ei' F. 

* TO -rrdura 6 om. F. ^ ovi^ om. F. 

*• KOi om. F. 

1 Heb. 3, 4. 2 ]^ratt. 4, 10. 

2 Cf. 1 Cor. 2, 10-11. A false etymology, of course. Q(6s 
is properly connected with dvco, "I sacrifice." 

86 



LETTER Vlll 

are a temple of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is 
God. We also speak of "the temple of Solomon," 
but as ascribed to him who built it. And if it is 
in this sense that we are the temple of the Holy 
Spirit, the Holy Spirit is God ; for "He that 
created all things is God " ; ^ but if it is in the sense 
that the temple is of one who is worshipped and 
dwells within us, then let us confess that He is 
God. For " the Lord thy God shalt thou adore, 
and Him only shalt thou serve."- But if they 
reject the word " God," let them learn of what this 
word is significant. For He is called ^' God " (^e-o?) 
from His having established (re-^et-KeVat) all things, 
or His seeing {Oe-aaOaL) all things. ^ If, therefore, 
He is called "God" from His having established or 
His seeing all things, and if the Spirit knows all the 
things of God, just as the spirit within us knows all 
the things of ourselves, then the Holy Spirit is God. 
And again, if " the sword of the Holy Spirit is the 
word of God," ^ the Holy Spirit is God ; for the sword 
is of Him of whom also the word is said to be. And 
if furthermore He is called the right hand of the 
Father (for " the right hand of the Lord hath 
wrought strength," ^ and ^' thy right hand, O Lord, 
hath slain the enemy "),^ and if the Holy Spirit is 
the finger of God, according to the saying : " If I 
by the finger of God cast out devils," ' which in 
another Gospel reads, " If I by the Spirit of God 

* Cf. Ephes. 6, 17. Kai rr\v TrepiKCcpaXaiav rod (TUTrjpiov 
S4^a(rde, Kot tV /J-dxaipaf rov wyev/xaTos, o iffri ^Tj^a &eov. 
" And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword 
of the Spirit (which i3 the word of God)." 

6 Psal. 117, 16. « Ex. 15, 6. 

' Luke 11, 20. 

87 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Ylveviiari ^eov ifc/3dWco ra Sat/jLovi-a, r?)? avrfj^ 
(f)vcr€co'^ Tft) ^ Uarpl koI Tlo) to Uvev/jia to dycov. 
Kal irepl fxev Tfi<; 7rpoaKVV7}T7]<; koI dyia<; 
TpidSo^ Toaavra r)fiLV iirl rod 7rap6vTO<; elpyjadco' 
ou yap vvv hvvarov TrXarvrepov i^erdaai top 
TTcpl avT7]<; \6yov. vfi€L<; Se Xa/SovTe^; irapa Trj<; 
r}/jL€Tepa'^ Taireivdicrew^; aTrep/xara, ard-^vv Mpi[xov 
iavTOL<; yecopy/jcrare, iirel Koi rotcov^y &)? tare, 
TOiv roiovTCDV TrpoaaTraLTovfieOa. Tncrrevco Be 
Tw ©ea> OTL /cap7ro(f)op}]aeTe Kal rptdKovra Kal 
k^rjKovja Kal eKajov Slcl ttjv Kadaporrjra tov 
piov vfiMv. MaKdpioL ydp, ^rjaiv,'^ ol KaOapol 
rfj KapSla, ore avTol tov Qeov oylrovTai. Kal 
pLTjSe dXko TL, dSeXcpOi, ttjv /SaaiXeuav tmv ov- 
pavMV vopLioriiTe i) Tr)v tcov optcov dXi^Oi) KaTa- 
vorjaLV, Tjv Kal /laKapioTrjTa ovo/id^ovaLv al Selai 
Tpacpar 'H ydp ^aaiXela twv ovpavcov €vto<; 
v/jLMV ecrrt. irepl Se tov eVro? dvOpwirov ovhev 
€Tepov ^ r) Oewpia avviaTaTai. dewpia dv etr) 
XoiTTOV ^ 7] jSaaiXela tojv ovpavcov. mv ydp vvv 
ra? (TKid<; Kadopco/iev, &)? iv KaTOTTTpco, vaTcpov 
diTaXXayevTe<i tov yed)hov<; crd)/jiaTO(; tovtov Kal 
d(j)dapTov eirevhvadfievoL Kal dOdvaTov, tovtcov 
Ta dp^^eTVTra KaToyfro/xeOa. o^ofxeOa he, el ye 
tov eavTcov ^lov 77/509 to evOh KV^epv(i)t]/Ji€v Kal 
T7J9 6p6ri<^ 7ri<7T6Ct)9 TTOLOi/ieOa irpovoiav, oiv %&>/5t9 
ovhel<^ oyjreTaL tov Kvpiov. Et9 ydp KaKOTe-^vov 
yfrv^V^) (prjalv, ovk elaeXevcreTat ao^ia, ovhe KaT- 
OLKrjaec iv aco/xaTi KaTa^pew d/iapTiaf;.^ Kal 
fxrjSeU VTTOKpoveTO) Xeycov otl Ta iv iroalv dyvoMV, 

^ T^ om. F. " <pr)(T'iv om. F. 

^ (ariv (sic) F. * XoLirhv om. F. 

88 



LETTER VIll 

cast out devils/'^ then tlie Holy Spirit is of the 
same nature as the Father and Son. 

Concerning the adorable and Holy Trinity let so 
much suffice for the present ; for we cannot now 
extend the discussion further. But do you^ taking 
from our humility the seeds_, grow for yourselv^es the 
ripe ear, since, as you know, we demand also usury 
from the same. I trust in God that through the 
purity of your lives you will gather a harvest both 
thirty and sixty and a hundredfold. For, '' Blessed," 
He says,'^ '^ are the clean of heart: for they shall 
see God." And, brethren, consider not the kingdom 
of heaven as aught other than the true contempla- 
tion of the realities, which the Holy Scriptures call 
" blessedness '' ;" for the kingdom of heaven is within 
you." 3 And concerning the inner man, it consists 
of nothing but contemplation. Therefore the king- 
dom of heaven must be contemplation. For the 
things of which we now see only the shadows, as in 
a mirror, later, when we have been freed from this 
earthy body and have put on an indestructible and im- 
mortal body, we shall behold their archetypes. We 
shall behold them, provided that we guide our lives 
aright, and take forethought for the true faith ; for 
without these things no one shall see the Lord. 
" For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, 
nor dwell in a body subject to sin."^ Let no one 
interrupt me and say : " In your ignorance of things 

1 Matt. 12, 28. 2 j^iatt. 5, 8. 

^ Cf. Luke 17, 21. 'l5oD yap, t] ^aai\iia rov &(ov evrhs 

vjxoov iaTLu. "For lo, the kingdom of God is within you." 
* Wis. 1, 4. 

^ ajxapriais F. 

89 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Trepl tT;? aaay/jLaTov koX Travrrj avvXov ov(iia<; 
jjfjLlv (f)L\oao(p€l<i. Kal yap aroirov Kpivw Ta<; /lev 
alaOyjaei^ eqv aKoikvTw<^ rcov IhUov ifiTTLTrXaaOaL 
vXwv, Tov he vovv jjlovov elpyeaOai Trj<; olKeia^ 
iv€p'y€La<;. 0)9 yap 7) aiad-qai'^ tmv aladrjTwv, 

OVTCO<; 6 Z'OU? TCOV VOTjTCOV 67TL^0\6<; iaTiv, 

" Kfia he Kal rovro XeKreov, ore ra (j)vaiKa 
KpiTi-jpia aSiSaKTa TreTroirjKev 6 Krlaa^ r}pLd<; 0eo?. 
ovheU yap BiBcicrKeL ra? 6yjreL<; ^(^pco/jLdTcov 7) 
a)(7iiJidTwv civTiXajjiPdveaOai, ovB* clkotjv yjrocpcov 
re Kal cpcovMv, ovS* oacpprjaiv dr/icov evcoScov re 
KOI SuacoScjv, ovBe yevaiv "xvfxoyv Kal ')(y\wv, 
ovh^ d(f)r)v pia\aK(hv Kal aKXyjpcov, tj depp-oiv Kal 
'\\rv')(^pwv. ovhe TOV vovv e7n/3dWeiv Tot? vor)TOL<; 
SiBd^OL Ti? dv. Kal oiairep el tl irdOoiev avrac, 
eTripeXela^ /xovov TrpocrSeovrat, Kal t^i^ olKeiav 
evepyetav evKoXcot; diroTrXripovcnv' ovroi^ Kal 6 
vov^, aapKi avvSeOeU Kal rwv eK ravrrj^ cf)avTa- 
aiMV 7TX7)pcodeL<;, Triareo)'^ helrai Kal iroXiTeia'; 
6p6ri<;, a'iTLve^ KarapTiKovaL tov<; TToSa? avTOv 
wael eXd(j)ov Kal eirl rd vyfrTjXd larojaLv avrov, 
TovTo TOL avTO Kal 6 ao(j)b<; irapeyyva ^oXo/jlmv, 
Kal TTore fiev r/fjulv 7rpo(j)epei tov dveTralaxwTOV 
ipydTTjv TOV /JLvp/LL7]Ka Kal St' avTov rrjv irpaK- 
TiKTjv Tjfuv oBbv v7roypd(f)et' ttotc Be to tt)? 

^ Cf. Psal. 17, 34. 'O KarapTi^ofxevos tovs irSSas fiov us 
i\d(pov, Kal inl ra vyprjXa laruv /xe. "Who hath made my 
feet like the feet of harts : and who setteth me upon high 
places." 

^ Cf. Prov. 6, 6. ''161 Trphs TOV /xvpixTjKa, & oKvrjpe, kol 
^■i]\o}(Tov iSchv ras oSous avrov, Kal yevov eKeivov crotpwTepos. 
"Go to the ant, sluggard, and consider her ways, and 
learn wisdom." 

90 



LETTER VIII 

that are before your feet, you philosophize to us 
about bodiless and altogether immaterial substance." 
For I consider it absurd that we should permit our 
senses to sate themselves without hindrance with 
their own material food, but that we should exclude 
the mind alone from its own particular activity. 
For just as the senses lay hold of things sensible, so 
the mind lays hold of things mentally perce})tible. 

But at the same time this also must be said, that 
the God who created us made the natural sense 
faculties to be independent of a teacher. For no 
one teaches sight — how to apprehend colours or 
shapes — nor hearing — how to apprehend sounds and 
voices— nor smell — how to apprehend pleasant and 
unpleasant odours — nor taste — how to apprehend 
flavours and savours — nor touch — how to apprehend 
things smooth and rough, or hot and cold. No 
more could anyone teach the mind how to lay hold 
upon things mentally perceptible. And just as the 
senses, if they take on an ailment, need care only, 
and then readily fulfil their own peculiar activities, 
so too the mind, being imprisoned in the flesh and 
filled with the phantasies therefrom, needs only 
faith and right conduct, and these ^'^ make its feet 
like the feet of harts and set it upon high places." ^ 
Indeed this same advice is given by the wise 
Solomon, when on one occasion ^ he sets the ant 
before us as an example of the unashamed worker, 
and thereby outlines the path which is practical for 
us ; and on another ^ refers us to the " wise bee's 

3 Ecclesiasticus 11,3. Rufinus says that the Latin Church 
ascribes this book to Solomon, but that Greeks know it as 
"the Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach " (translation of Origen's 
Homily on Xumbers xvii). 

91 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

(TO(j)rj<; /leXiTTT]'; KrjpoTrXaarov opyavov, kol hi 
avTYj'^^ (f)vcnKr)v Oewpiav alvLTTerai, iv rj kol 6 
Trepl rr)? dyia<; TptaSo? iy/ceKparaL X0709, elirep 
Ik KaX\ovr\<^ KTiapLOLTajv avakoyw^ 6 y€vecrcovpyo<i 
Oecopelrai. 

'A\V eL';!^apicrr7;crai/T69 Harpl /cat T/&) Kal 
dyLw Tlvevfiari, Trepan i7ri6co/i€V rw ypd/xfiari,, 
iireLSr] irdv fxerpov dptarov, co? ^ 77 irapoifjiia 
(f)rjaiv. 



IX 

^la^L/jL(p (f)i\ocr6(f)(p ^ 

EtVoz^e? 6vTco<; tmv ^jrv^MV elalv ol \6yoL. 
Kare/JLciOofMev ovv ae Slcl rod ypdp,/biaTo<;, oaov 
^aalv, ef ovv^^^ '^ov Xeovra' Kal fjcrOrjpiev 
€up6vT€<; Trepl rd irpwra Kal /xiyLara rcov dyaOcov 
ovK dpyo)<; hiaKeipLevov, tjjv re 7rpo<; rov Sebp 
dydirriv Kal tt/jo? * tov TrXrjaiop. arj/jielov Be ttolov- 
fjueOa TOV pLev, rrjv irepl r/pLa^; Be^Lorrjrd aov, tov 
he, Tfjv irepl ttjv yvoiaiv a-irovhrjv. oti he iv hvotv 
TOVTOLv earl rd 6\a, yvcoptpLOV iravrl l^piarov 
pLa6r]Ty. 

^ tV om. F. 2 ws Capps ; koI MSS. and editi. 

^ A, B, C, D, E ; lJ-a^ifJi.<f <pi\oo-6(pci} Trepl twi' ttovt)ix6.t<jov 
hiovvaiov F. 
* TTpbs om. F. 

^ Cf. Soph. frag. 366, 5 (Nauck). Th iroiKiXwrarov opyavov 
|ou077s ^eAtcro-Tjs K'np6jrKacrTov. " The very gaiul}' wax-mould- 
ing implement of the j'ellow bee." The actual words used 
by Basil belong to Sophocles and not to Ecclesiasticus. 

92 



LETTER IX 

wax-moulding impleiiient/' ^ and thereby suggests 
tlie contemplation of nature, wherein is also blended 
the doctrine of the Holy Trinity — that is, if from 
the beauty of created things the nature of the 
creator is correspondingly inferred. 

But giving thanks to the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, let me make an end to this letter, since 
everything is best in moderation, as the proverb ^ 
has it. 



LETTER IX 

To Maximus the Philosopher"^ 

In truth words are the images of the mind. So 
we have learned to know you from your letters, 
as truly as, according to the proverb, from the 
claw the lion.* And we are delighted to find you 
not slothful in your attitude towards the first and 
greatest of the virtues — love towards both <jod and 
neighbour. We hold as an indication of the latter 
your tenderness for me ; as a proof of the former, 
your enthusiasm for knowledge. That everything 
is contained in these two is known to every disciple 
of Christ. 

2 This saying was attributed to Cleobulus, one of the 
Seven Sages, who lived in Lindus in Rhodes at about 580 B.C. ; 
cf. Diog. Laert. 89-93. 

' Written about a. d. 861. 

* Cf. Lucian, Hermotimus, 34: "They say indeed that 
one of the sculptors, Pheidias I believe, after looking at a 
lion's claw, calculated the size of the whole lion when 
fashioned in proportion to the claw." 

93 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAL\T BASIL 

'A he €7rL^o]T6i^ TOiV L^LOvvaiov i]\6e /lev eh 
r}/id<;, Kol irdvv iroWd' ov irdpearl ye /jli]v to, 
/5i/9\ta, SioTrep ovk direaTelXafiev. e-)(Ofiev he 
yi>(o/ji7]<i oi/TO)?. ov irdvTa Oav/jLa^o/iev rod dv- 
Sp6<;' earc he a Kal iravreXo)'; hiaypd^ofiev. 
a')(ehov yap TavTqal ttj^ vvv 7TepL6pvWov/j,evr)<; ^ 
dae^eLa<;, r/}? Kara to 'Avo/xotov \eyco, ovt6<; 
iajLV, oaa ye 7]p,eh I'crp.ev, 6 tt/jcoto? dvdpco7roi<; ^ 
rd aTripfiara Trapaa^cov. alTiov he, ol/jLat, ov 
irovrjpia yvco/jiJ]<;, dWd to cr(j)6Spa ^ovXeadat 
dvTLTeiveLv tw Xa/3eWLM. eXwda yovv direiK- 
d^eiv^ iyco <f>VT0K6^(p, vedpov (pvrov Bta(TTpo(f)r]v 
dwevOvvovTi, elTa ttj d/jLeTpla r?}? dv6o\Krj<^ 
Sta/iapTOVTi Tov fxeaov Kal tt/jo? to evavTiov 
diTayayovTL to /SXdaTfj/ia. tolovtov tl Kal irepl 
TOV dvSpa TOVTOV OTL^ yeyevi]fievov evpofiev. uvtl- 
fiaivwv yap a(j)oSp(t)<i ttj dae^eia tov At/5f09, 
eXaOev eavTov eh to ivavTiov KaKov vtto t/}? 
dyav (j)L\oTt/j.La<; ^ VTreve'^^Oeh. c5 ye ToaovTOV 
e^apKovv Set^ai, otl ov TavTov rw VTroKeifievw 
YlaTrjp Kal T/09, Kal TavTrj ® e)(eLV KaTa tov 
/3\acr(f)T)/jiovvTO<; ra VLK7]T7]pLa, Si, Iva Tvdvv 
ivapyco'i Kal e'/c tov 7repi6vT0<; KaTaKpaT^, ov^ 
eTepoTTjTa fiovov to)v virocTTdaewv TiOeTat, dWd 

^ 6pvXovix4v()S E. ^ avQpdnrois om. C, D. 

3 Toirov add. Ed. Ben. ; om. A, B, C, D, E, F, 
* OTi om. F. ^ (piAoveiKias A, B, F. 

® ravTT} C, D ; ravra A, B, E, F, editi. 

^ Dionysius of Alexandria, after St. C3'prian the most 
eminent bishop of the third century. He studied under 
Origen, and succeeded Heracles, Origen's successor, as head 
of the Alexandrian Scliool. 

94 



LETTER IX 

The works of Dion ysius ^ for which you ask came 
to us, and numerous indeed they were. The books, 
however, are not at hand now, so we liave not 
forwarded them. We hold the following oj)inion 
about them : we do not admire all the works of 
the man, and there are some which we even cross 
out of our lists entirely. For, so far as we know, 
this person is about the first to have furnished men 
with the germs of that impiety which is now so 
noised about, I mean the doctrine of unlikeness.^ 
But the reason, I think, is not perversity of mind, 
but an excessive desire to combat Sabellius.^ 
Indeed, I am wont to compare Dionysius with a 
gardener who, in trying to correct the bent of a 
young {)lant, by a miscalculation of the counter- 
strain, misses the mean, and draws the stem to the 
opposite side. Some such experience we find has 
happened to this man. For while violently resist- 
ing the irreverence of the Libyan, by his extravagant 
zeal he has unconsciously been carried over to the 
opposite evil. Although it was quite enough for 
him to show that the Father and Son are not the 
same in substance,* and thus to have his triumphs 
over the blasphemer, yet in order that he might 
gain the mastery distinctly and with something to 
spare, he not only establishes a difference in persons 

2 Cf. Introd., p. xxiii. 

2 The active period of Sabellius was the close of the second 
and the beginning of the third century. He gave liis name 
to the sect of Sabellianism, the Eastern name for the move- 
ment known as Patripassianism in the West. 

* Aristotle, Met. VI. 3. 1, says, "Substance seems most of 
all to be that which first exists " {jxaKiara hoKel elvai ovaia rh 
viroKei/uLeyov irpwTov). He has reference here to matter simply, 
in the metaphysical sense. 

95 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kal ovala<; Biacpopav kol hwdfieo)^ vcpecriv /cat 
S6^r]<; irapaWayi'^v. oxjje etc tovtov avve/Sr), 
KaKov^ fiev avTov /caKov 8ia/jL6Lyjrac, t/}? 8e 
6p06Tr]ro<; rod \6yov hiafiapTelv. ravrrj roi Kal 
iravTohaiTo^; iariv ev roc^ avyypdpifjLaaLv,^ vvv 
[lev dvaipoiv to ojjlooixtlov, olcl tov eir'' dderijaei 
rcov vTToaTaaewv Ka/c(o<i avTw Ke^^ptj/juevov, vvv 
Be irpoaLeixevo^ ev oh diroXoyelTai irpo^ rov 
ofjLcovv/jLOv, 7r/309 Be TOVTOL<; Kal irepl tov Hz^ei;- 
jjiaTo^i d(f)7]K€ <j)(ovd<^ iJKKTTa irpeirovaa^ ^ tm 
Hvev/JLaTi, Trj<; irpoaKvvovfxevi'}'^ avTO Osott^to^ 

i^Opi^COV Kal KCLTW TTOV Ttj KTCaT^ Kal XeiTovpyS) 

(f)vaei (TVvapLO/jLcov. 6 fiev ovv * dvr)p tolovto^. 

^Eyo) ^ Be^ el ^PV tov/jlovlBiov^ elirelv, Toofioiov 
KaT ovcrlav, el /lev TrpocTKet/jLevov e)(eL '^ to dirapaX- 
Xa/CTO)?, Beyojiai tvjv (pcovrjv co? eh TavTOV rw 
opLOOvaiw (pepovaav KaTa ttjv vyirj ^ BrfKovoTi tov 
6/jLOOvcriov Bidvoiav. oirep Kal tou? ev ^LKaia 
vorjcravTa^, ^o)<; €K ^.6)to9 Kal @€ov oXtjOivov e/c 
0eoi) d\'>]di,vov Kal to, TOiavTa tov ^lovoyev?) 
7rpoaec7r6vTa<^, eirayayelv dKo\ovdo)<; to o/xoovaiov. 
ovTe ovv (f)(OT0^ 7r/3o? <f)(o<i, ovTe d\i]Oeia^ 7r/?o<? 
dXijdeidv TTOTe, ovTe 7:79 tov IsVovoyevov^ ovaia<; 



^ KUKhv . . . KOLKov E, F. ^ ypd/xfxaai B. 

^ r£ om. et TrvevjxaTiKw C, D. ^ oZv om. C, D. 

° eVe F. 6 j5^o^ om^ ^ jy 

' ^Xot A, B, C, D. 8 {,yia A, B, C, D. 



^ Dion3'sius of Rome, a Greek by birth, consecrated July 
22, A.D. 259, on the death of Xystus, in the persecution of 
Valerian. When Dionysius of Alexandria was accused of 
holding doctrines akin to those of Sabellius, the Roman 

96 



LETTER IX 

(^hi/j)osfases), hut also a difference in substance (o«i7rt), 
a diminution of power, and a variation of glory. The 
consequence is that he has exchanged one evil for 
another, and has ' fallen short of correctness of 
doctrine. Furthermore, he is variable in his writ- 
ings, now discarding the doctrine of identity of 
substance because of Sabellius, who made evil use 
of it for the rejection of the doctrine of three 
Persons, now accepting it in the defence he wrote, 
addressed to his namesake.^ Besides, he uttered 
expressions regarding the Spirit which by no means 
befit the Spirit, banishing Him from the divinity 
we worship, and listing Him somewhere below, along 
with the created and ministering class of things. 
Such a man is Dionysius. 

But if 1 may speak my own opinion, I accept the 
phrase "like in substance," provided the qualification 
'^invariably" is added to it, on the ground that it 
comes to the same thing as "identity of substance," 
according, be it understood, to the sound conception 
of the term. It was with precisely this thought in 
mind that the fathers of Nicaea consistently added 
"of the same substance" when they addressed the 
Only-Begotten as " Light from Light," " True God 
from True God," and so forth. Now no one can 
possibly conceive of any variation either of light in 
relation to light, or of truth to truth, or of the 

Dionysius wrote to him, and obtained such a satisfactory 
explanation that he declared him free from suspicion. Cf. 
Athanasius, Ep. de Sentcntia Dionysii, 1. 2o2. However, it 
is clear, as Basil has just intimated, that Dionysius of 
Alexandria had been incorrect in thought as well as in 
words, and did not at first grasp the true doctrine with the 
necessar}' distinctness. 

97 

VOL. I. H 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Trpo? T^i^ Tov Uarpo'^ iirivofja-ai riva irapaWayr^v 
hvvaTov. el Ti? ovv ovrw^, &)? elirov, iKSixotro, 
irpoaiefJiaL ttjv (pcovijv. el Be ri? rod o/holov to 
cLirapdWaKTOV airorip^voL,^ oirep oi Kara rrjv Kojz/- 
aravTLvovTTo\LV ireTroiyj/caaLv, vTroTrrevco ro prjpa 
ft)9 TOV yioi'oy6vov<; tj]v Bo^av KaTaa pLKpvvov. Kal 
yap Kal ^ afivSpat^ €/jL(f)6peLaL<;, Kal ifkelaTov 
TOiV apyeTVTiWV aTroSeovaatfi, to ofioiov 'TToXkdKL<; 
eiTivoelv ^ el(jL>6apev. eirel ovv yjttov olfiat * KaK- 
ovpyelaOat to ofioovcTLOV, ovtco Kal avTO'i TiOepiai. 

^ W\a Tt OVK €7Tl(j)0LTa^ rjplv, 0) dpiCTTe, OiCTTe 

7rap6vTa<; rjp.a<; dW7]XoL<; irepl tcov toiovtcov ^ 
hLa\e-)(6)']vai, Kal [irj ypd/jufiaaiv dylru'^ot'; KaTa- 
TTtaTeveiv to, TyXiKavTa, a\X(o<; re /x?/t6 Trdvv 
Stj/jLoaLeveiv to, eavTCov eyvcoKOTa^; ; oirco^; ovv fir) 
TO TOV ALoyivov; irpo<^ tov WXe^avhpov Kal avTO<^ 
rjfjLcv et7r^9, otl laov ecrrt Trap' v/xcbv to hevpo Kal 
irpo^ vp,d<; ivOevhe. r]pLel<; fxev yap viro Trj's dppw- 
CTta?, fiLKpov helv, wairep tcl (pvTa iirl t>'}9 avTrj<; 
')(^ctipa<^ del KaTey^op^eQa' Kal dpa to XaOetv /3l(o- 
aavT€^ ev ^ toU 7rpd)T0L<; twv dyaOojv ayo/iev. av 
Be eppcoaai re, w? (j)aaL, Kal d/jua ttoXlttjv aeavTov 
T^9 0LK0Vfxiv7j<; 7rot7]aa<; BiKaLO<; av et'?;? Kal Beypo 

^ airoTdixvei. F. ^ Kal om. A. 

5 iiriXeyeiu A, B, C, D. * o^Tq^^j q J) 

^ tS)V Toiovruiv : rovrav A, B, C, D. ^ tVl A, B, C, D. 

^ At the Acacian Council of Constantinople (360), where 
fifty bishops accepted the creed of Ariminum as revised 
at Nica (at or near modern Hafsa, just to the south of 
Adrianople), proscribing "substance'' (oiVia) and "person" 
(uiroa-Taais), and declared the Son "like the Father, as say 
the Holy Scriptures." Cf. Theod. ii. 16 and Soc. ii. 40. 

^ Cf. Theodoret, Ep. Ixii, where he speaks of "Live your 
life in oblivion" {\dde fiiwffas) as a saying of "one of the 
98 



LETTER IX 

substance of the Only-Begotten to that of the 
Father. Accordingly^ if anyone will accept the state- 
ment with my interpretation of it, I have no 
objection to make. But if anyone eliminates the 
invariability of the likeness, as those in Constanti- 
nople ^ have done, I become suspicious of the 
expression, on the ground that it diminishes the 
glory of the Only-Begotten. For, as you know, 
we are often accustomed to conceive of 'Mikeness " 
on the basis of similarities that are sometimes faint 
and sometimes fall far short of the archetypes. I 
have therefore myself adopted "likeness of sub- 
stance," because I think that this term is less open 
to perversion. 

But why do you not visit us, dear friend, that we 
may discuss such matters in each other's company, 
and not entrust subjects of such importance to life- 
less words, especially since I have definitely decided 
not to make my own convictions public? I beg of 
you not to answer me as Diogenes did Alexander, 
saying, "You are just as near to me as I to you." 
For, by reason of my infirmities, I am, 1 may almost 
say, like a plant, always held to the same place ; 
and at the same time I regard "life in oblivion " ^ 
as among the highest of blessings. You, on the 
other hand, are in good health, according to report ; 
and since, at the same time, you have made yourself 
a citizen of the world, 'you would be justified in 
coming to visit us even at this place, a part of your 

men once called wise," probably referring to Epicurus. For 
similar expressions, cf. Horace, Ep. i. xvii. 10 ; Ovid, 
Tristia, in. iv. 25 ; and Euripides, Iph. in Aid. 17. Plutarch 
has an essay on the question, "Is the saying, 'Live your 
life in oblivion,' well said?" (et koAws etprjrai rh \dde 

99 
H 2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

(j)Otrav o)? et? fi€po<; rrj<^ aeavrov. el yap koX Tol<i 
rrpaKTLKol'^ v/xlv TrpeTrovaL hrjfioL fcal TroXe^?, at? 
Ta<; Kar aperrjv Tr/pafet? iveTTiSeiKvvcrOe,^ dWci ye 
7r/509 Oecopiav Kal rrjv Kara vovv ivepyeiav, Bi ?;? 
crvvaiTTopLeOa rcG ©eoi), ayaQ\] avvepyo<; rj ijavy^ua- 
rjv TToXKrjV eirl t7]<; iaXciTLa<^ ^ fcal a(f)Oovov 
yecopyovfMev avv avrw ye elirelv rw 7rapaa)(^op,6V(p 
r)p.LV Sea), el Se iravrco^ Set irepieireiv ra<^ 
Swaarela^; Kal rrepK^povelv tov<; y^afxal Kecpevov; 
r)p,d<;,^ av Se dWd ypd(f)€ r^pLLv,^ Kal ravrrj iroiei 



X 

11/30? ekevOepav ^ 

Te)(yr] t/? eVrt Trepiarepcov 6t]pevTiKi) roLauri]. 
orav pidq iyKpajel^ ykvwvTai ol rd roiavra 
(jirovha^ovre^i, ')(eipo7]07j re TavTifv Kal opuoaiTOv 
eavTol^ direpydcrcovTar rore pbvpw rd^ irrepvya^i 
avTy]<; ')(^piaavTe<; icoai avpayeXaadtjvat raU e^coOev. 
T) 8e rod pLvpou eKelvov evcoSla rrjv avrovopiov 
eKeivqv dyeXi^v KTrjpia Troielrai ^ rw KeKTi]pev(p '^ 
TTjv TiOaacrov 7r/30? yap ra? evirvoia^; ^ Kal al 
XoLiral avve^eirovTai re Kal elaoLKL^oPTai. 

Tl Se /3ovX6pLevo<; evrevOev dp)(opaL rod ypdpL- 
fiaTO<; ; ore XajBoov rov vlov Aiovvaiov, tov irore 

1 iirideiKwaOe A, B, F. - Tair-qs add. C, 1). 

3 7)1X0.$ om. F. * T]yuv om. E, F. 

^ Trp^s i\€udcpav TrpoTpeirTiKT] fls to fxiTad^adanrphs tov o'^ri\hv 
fiiov C. 

100 



LETTER X 

own country, as it were. For even though com- 
munities and cities, wherein you display your activi- 
ties in accordance with virtue, suit best your life of 
activity, yet for contemplation and the exercise of 
the mind, whereby we are joined to God, solitude 
is an excellent co-worker ; and here, at the edge of 
the world, we enjoy a solitude abundant and bounti- 
ful, by the grace of that God who Himself has 
granted us the power to speak. If, however, you 
must by all means court the circles of influence and 
scorn us who lie upon the ground, at any rate do 
write to us, and thereby make us happier. 



LETTER X 

To A Widow ^ 

There is a device used in hunting doves, and it is 
of this kind. When the fowlers capture one dove, 
they make it so tame that it will eat with them ; 
then they anoint its wings with ointment, and 
permit it to flock Mith the doves outside. Now the 
sweet odour of the ointment brings the M'ild flock 
into the possession of the master of the tame bird ; 
for, attracted by the fragrant scent, all the rest 
enter the cote with the tame one. 

But with what purpose do I begin my letter thus ? 
Because after taking your son Dionysius, once called 

1 Written during Basil's retreat. "Widow"' (fKevdfpav) 
is not to be taken as a proper name. A similar use is to be 
seen in Rom. 7. 3; Greg. Naz., Ep. 147. 



ifl E. ' ('irofj.fV<f E. 

^ evnvoo'jcras A, B, C, D. 



lOI 

h2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

AcofjL}]87]v, Kol Tw 6ei(p /jLvpw ra? tt)? '^^XV'^ avrov 
TTTepvya^; Biaxpio'a^;, i^eTre/ijLyjra irpo^ tt)v (ttjv 
aefivoirpeTretav, ware Kal ere avri^v crvvavaTTTrjvai, 
avTcp KOI KaraXa/Selv rrjv /caXtap rjv irap rjfxiv 
i'7n]^aT0 6 7TpO€ipy]/jL6PO<;. iav ovv ^ ravra I'Socfic 
eTTL T?}? i/i7]<; fo)?}? Kal ti-jv (Ti]v cre/jLvoTrpeTreLav 
7rpo9 Tov xjy^rfkov ^iov /leraOefievrjv, ttoWcov 
TrpoawiTwv d^lcov rod Seov SerjOijaofxat rrjv 
/c€Xp€coaT7]iJ.evr]v ti/jltjv airoTTXrjpSiaaL avrw. 



XI 

Wve7riypa(f)o<;, inl (f)iXia^ 

T^ TOV ©eou x^LpLTi ri]v ay lav rjfiepav avvSi- 
ayay6vT€<; ro2^ tekpol^; rjfiojv /cal oVtw? reXeiav eop- 
Ti^v ioprdcravTe^; tw KvpLw Si.d rrjv hirep^dWov- 
aav avTcov irepl tov Sebv dyaTn-jv, irpoeTre/jLylra/iev 
jied^ vyeia<^ 7rp6<; tvjv ar]v evyeveiav, evyoii^voi to) 
(pLXavOpcoTTO) (dew Kal avTot<i hoOrjvai elprjviKov 
dyyeXov /SoijOov Kal avfnropov Kal ae Trap' auTOJv 
KaTaXi)(f)6rji'aL iv vyeia Kal irdar] elp-qvLKfi KaTa- 
aTuaei, iia, oirovirep civ rjTe hovXevovTe<; tw 
KvpLfp Kal €vxapLcrTovvT€<^ avTW, 6v(f)paii'7]Te ^ 
7]/jLd<;, 60)9 iafiev iv tw KocrpLO), dKOuovTa<} to, Trap" 
vfiojv. idv 8e irapdayrrj 6 dyto<; 0eo? * Oclttov ae 
Tcov ^povTihwv tovtcjov diraXXayrjvai, irapaKaXoO- 

^ ovv oni. E. - (p'lKcf! C. 

' ev(ppaiv7]TaL C. * Qehs om. C, D. 

^ The second name given at baptism. During the first 
three centuries, largely as a means of personal safety, the 

102 



LETTER XI 

Diomedes,^ and anointing the wings of his soul with 
the divine ointment, I have sent him forth to your 
ladyship, that you also may fly up with him, and 
enter the nest which he has built amongst us. 
Now if I live to see this sight, and to behold your 
ladyship a convert to our exalted life, I shall need 
many lives that are worth}^ in God's sight, in order 
fully to repay to Him the honour which is His due.^ 



LETTER XI 

Without Address, for Friendship's Sake^ 

After, by God's grace, we had spent the holy 
day with our children, and had solemnized a truly 
perfect feast to the Lord by reason of their abound- 
ing love of God, we sent them on in good health 
to your Highness. Meanwhile we prayed to the 
loving God both that there be granted to them an 
angel of peace as a helper and companion of their 
journey, and that you might be found by them in 
good health and perfect tranquillity, in order that, 
wherever you may be, serving the Lord and render- 
ing thanks unto Him, you may make us happy as 
long as we are in the world, l3y letting us receive 
tidings from you. If the holy God soon permits you 
to be released from your cares, we beg you to con- 
Christians assumed names which had no Christian association 
whatsoever. 

2 I.e., Basil would have to live his pious life several times 
over in order to be able to give proper thanks to God. 

^ Of the same date as X. Probably written to Olympius, 
the recipient of Letter XII. Cf. Letter CCXI. 

103 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIC 

liev cre fjLijBev Trporifirjaai, t?}? fieO^ rjfieov ^ 8iay(oyrj(;. 
olfiai yap /XT) evpelv ae toi;? ovtw<; ayaiTWVTa^ koI 
avTiTTOLOvfievov^ T^9 Trap' v/jlcv (f>i\ia^. ea)9 ovv 
av OLKovofifj 6 ayiof; top 'X^copicrpiov tovtov, Bta 
7ra(7779 7rpo(pd(T€0)^ napa/xvOeLadat rj/id^; ypafifxaat 
Kara^iov. 



XII 

'OXu/ATTtft) 

"E7pa^69 r)iuv TTporepov [xev oXiya, vvv he ovhe 
6\iya' Kol eoLKev 7) Ppa')(v\oyia irpolovaa Ta> 
Xpovo) iravrekrj^; yiveaOat acpcovla. iirdveXOe 
Toivvv iirl to eOo^, 009 ovk en aoc /xe/JLyjrofjLeOa 
XaKwvi^ovTL 7rpo<i r)/ia<; Sia ypafifidTcov dWd Kal 
rd fiLKpd ypd/jL/jLara, avixjBdXa ovra t?59 fieydXrji; 
aov Sta6e(jeco<;, ttoWov ct^ia TroLrjao/jLeOa. fxovov 
eTTLareWe tj/jllp. 



XIII 

'OXfyu-TTtft) 

"n.<T7rep Tcoi^ aXkwv oDpLficov eKaarov ev jfj olKeia 
03pa diravra, ev r)pL fiev rd dv6i], ev Oepei he ol 
d(jTd^ve<;, tw he ixeroircopw to firjXov, ovtco ')(€L' 
/jLcovo<; Kap7r6<; elacv ol Xoyoi. 

^ nap' rjfxiy C, D. 
J04 



LETTER XI 

sider nothing more urgent than a sojourn with us. 
For I am sure that you liave found none who so love 
you or value so highly your friendship. Therefore, 
so long as the Holy One ordains this separation, 
deign to console us with a letter on every pretext. 



LETTER XII 

To Olympius 1 

You used to write us little enough, but now you 
do not write even that little ; and if your brevity 
keeps increasing with the time, it seems likely to 
become complete speechlessness. Therefore return 
to your old custom, for I shall never again find fault 
with you for practising Laconic brevity on me by 
letter. Nay, even your little letters, seeing that 
they are tokens of magnanimity, I shall value highly. 
Only write to me. 



LETTER XIII 

To Olympius 2 

Just as all things that come with the seasons 
have each its own pro})er season for recurring — the 
flowers in spring, the ears of corn in summer, the 
apple in autumn — so winter's fruit is conversation. 



^ Of the same date as X. Cf. Letter IV, note 1. 
^ Closely connected with the preceding letter. 



105 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

XIV 

TprjyopLW eraipo) ^ 

'£70) Tov aBeXcpov fiOL eiTL(nei\avro<; TprjyopLov 
TTokaL povXeaOai rip^lv avvrvxetv, irpoaOevTO^ he 
on Kal aoX avro tovto SeSoyfievov earl, to fiev tl ^ 
Koi Bta TO '7roWdKL<; cLTTaTrjOrjvaL ^ 6Kvr)pw<; * e^f^v 
7r/309 TO TTLaTeveiv, to Be tl rcal viro d(7)(^o\icov 
irepiaTTCopevo';, eiripelvai ovk r)Bvvy]Or]v. Bel yap 
pe yjBr] direXavveiv eirl tov TIovtov, ev co Td')(^CL 
TTore, tov 0eoO /3ov\r]0evTO';, tT;? irXavrj^ Xyj^opev.^ 
/xoA,t9 yap diroyvov^; twv /laTalcov eXiriBcov, a? eirl 
aol el^ov TTore, pLoXkov Be tS)v oveipoiv, el Bel 
dXrjOeaTepov elirelv (eiraLvoi yap tov elirovTa Ta<; 
eXTTtSa? elvat yprjyopovvTcov evvTTVLa), KaTCL ^iov 
^7]T7]aLV eirl tov TIovtov aTrrjXOov. evOa Bi'-j poi 6 
0609 ')(^copLov vTreBet^ev dKpL^o)<; avpi^alvov ^ tw 
epw TpoTTW, wcrre, olov iroXXaKi^ elcoOap^ev "^ 
dpyovvTe<; dpa Kolirai^ovTe^ tjj BLavoia avpirXdT- 
Tetv, TOLOVTOV CTTt T>}9 dXrjOeia'^ Kadopav. 

"O/309 ydp eaTLV vy\nfKov pade'ia vXr) KeKaXup,- 
pevov, y^v')(^pol<^ vBaac Kal Biacpaveaiv eh to KaT 
dpKTOv KaTdp'pvTOv. TOVTOV Tuh VTTCopeiaL^i ttcBlov 
VTTTLOV vTTeaTopeaTai, Tal<; ck tov opov^ voTiai 
BLr)veKco^ inaLVopevov. vXi] Be tovtw ^ avT0pLdTa)<; 
7repL(f)velaa ttolklXcov koi iravToBairodv BevBpcov, 

^ rp7}yopi({} eraipy A, B, K. t^ avT(f C. tov /xaKapiov fiaai- 
Afiou iTTKTKOTTov Kaicrapelas KaTTiradoKLas irpos Tpr)'y6piov iTriaKOirov 
va^av * * * F. 

2 fxiv Tl : fjLeyToi C. ^ fie add. E, F. 

* OKvnpoTcpws A, B, C. ^ \r}^o/xai C. 

106 



LETTER XIV 

LETTER XIV 

To Gregohv, a friend ^ 

Although brother Gregory wrote to me that he^ 
had long wished to visit us, and added that you had 
formed the same purpose, I was, on the one hand, so 
loth to trust you because you have often deceived 
me, and, on the other hand, so distracted by 
business that 1 could not delay my departure. For 
I was obliged to leave immediately for the Pontus, 
where some time soon, God willing, I shall cease my 
wandering. For after renouncing with difficulty 
those vain hopes which I had once placed in you — ■ 
or rather, if I may use a truer word, my dreams 
(since I commend the man who said that hopes are 
waking men's dreams) — I departed for Pontus in 
search of a place of abode. There indeed God 
showed me a spot exactly suited to my taste, so that 
I really beheld just such a place as I have often been 
wont in idle reverie to fashion in my imagination. 

There is a high mountain, covered with a thick 
forest, watered on its northerly side by cool and 
transparent streams. At its base is outstretched an 
evenly sloping plain, ever enriched by the moisture 
from the mountain. A forest of many-coloured and 
multifarious trees, a spontaneous growth surrounding 

1 Gregory of Nazianzus. Cf. Introd., i)p. xvi, xxii. Written 
after the year 360, before he became presbj'ter. Cf. Newman's 
translation of this letter, Ckurch of the Fathers, 126. 



^ avjuL^aiuovTa C. ' €lw6€i/j.€v C, 

^ TOVTU'V C. 



107 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fjLLKpov helv avrl ep/cov; amw yiveraL, &>? fMiKpav 
elvai TTpo? TOVTO Kal rrjv l\.a\vyfrov<; vrjaov, rjv St] 
7ra(T(t)v irXeov 'Oyu-^y/^o? et? kciXXo^; Oav/jLd<Ta<; 
(paiverat, koI yap ovSk ttoXv airohel rod vrjaov 
elvat, eveKciye rod TravraxoOev ^ ipvfiaat irepteipy- 
ecrOar (f)dpayy6<; fiev yap avrw ^aOelac /cara 8vo 
fiepj] irepieppwyaai, Kara irXevpav Be airo Kpij/JLVOV 
6 7rora/uLo<; viroppecov ret^o? eVrt Kal avTO<; 
Si7]V€Ke<^ Kal Svae/jb/Sarov' ck Be tov iirl 6 are pa 
T€Ta/JL6vov elvat to 6po<; Bl dyKcovcov fiTjvoecBcov 
rah (pdpay^iv ein^evyvvfievoVf tol ^da-Lfia r^? 
v7r(opeia<; d7roT€L)(^L^€c. puia Be tl^ ^ e((ToBo<; eV 
avT7]<;, 979 rjpLeh ecrpiev Kvpioi. t)]V ye pLrjv 
o'lKticnv av)(7]v Tt9 eVepo? v7roBe')(^eTai, vy^rrfKov 
Tiva eirl Trj<i dKpa<^ dvex^^v rivovra, coare to 
ireBiov Ik tovtov ^ vcpijirXwcrdat rat? oyjrecrt, Kal Ik 
TOV pLeTecopov e^elvai Kal tov iroTapiov irepippeovTa 
KaSopav, ovK eXdTTOva Tep-^iv, epboiye BoKelv, 
irape^opLevov fj to2<; ck T?J9 ^Ap(j)L7r6Xe(o<; tov 
^Tpvpiova KaTapavOdvovaiv. 6 pev yap (t^O' 
XaLOTepw * T&j pevpLaTt TrepcXipva^cov, pLiKpov Belv ^ 
Kal TO ^ TTOTapio^ elvai viro ' t?}9 r}avx^ci<; d(f)r/p7j- 
Tar 6 Be o^uTaTa oov iyco olBa TroTapwv pewv 



^payy ti ttj yeiTovL ireTpa irapaTpa^^vveTa 
d(ji ^ rj<^ dva-)(e6pevo<; el<; divrjv (BaOelav Trepiec- 
1 vavT6eev C, E. 2 ^,y om. E, F. 

^ TOVTOV F. * O-XoACiV C, F. 

^ fllKpOV Sel C. ^ TOV C. 

' virh om. F. ® Tr€piTpaxvv(T(xi A, C, D. 

» v(p' C, F 

^ The river Str3'mon (Struma) in Macedonia rises in Mt. 
Scomius, flows first S. and then S.E., passes through the 

108 



LETTER XIV 

tlie place, acts almost as a hedge to enclose it, so 
that even Kalypso's isle, which Homer seems to 
have admired above all others for its beauty, is 
insignificant as compared with this. For it is, in 
fact, by no means far from being an island, since it 
is shut in on all sides by barriers. Two deep 
ravines break off abruptly on two sides, and on a 
third side, at the bottom of a cliff, the river which 
glides gently by forms a wall, being itself a con- 
tinuous and impassable barrier ; and since the 
mountain stretches along the fourth side, and is 
joined to the ravines through bending sides which 
take the shape of a crescent, the passes at the base 
are blocked off. However, there is one entrance 
here, and we are in control of it. Adjoining my 
dwelling is another neck of land, as it were, which 
supports at its summit a lofty ridge, so that from the 
former the plain below lies outspread before the 
e3'es, and from the elevation we may gaze upon 
the encircling river, which in my mind at least 
furnishes no less pleasure than they receive who 
receive their first impression of the Strymon from 
Amphipolis.^ For the latter, as it spreads out with 
its somewhat sluggish current to form the lake, almost 
ceases to be a river, by reason of the stillness of its 
waters ; whereas the former, as it flows more swiftly 
than any other river I know, for a short space is 
roughened by the rock which borders upon it. As 
the river recoils from this rock, it coils itself into a 

lake Presias, and immediately S. of Amphipolis, which it 
nearl}' encircles, falls into a bay of the Aegean Sea, called 
after it Strymonicus Sinus. Cf. Hes., Th. 339 ; Aesch., Ag. 
192 ; Hdt. vii. 75 ; Thuc. ii. 96, iv. 108, v. 7 ; and Strabo, p. 
323. 

109 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Xelrai, oyjrLV re rj6L(7T7]v ■"■ e'/xol Kal ttuvtI Oearfj 
7rapexo/J.€vo^, kol xP^'^^'^ "^^^^ eir 1-^(^00 piot^ avrapK- 
edTaTrjv, lyOvoiv 76 ^ ir\r\do^ ajivOrjrov rat? hivai<^ ^ 

€Vrp€(pO)V. 

Tt Sec Xeyetp Ta<^ etc tt}? 77}? avairvod';, rj Ta<; 
CK rov TTora/iov avpa<; ; to ye fii-jv tmv avOewv 
TrXr^^o? ?') TMV (phiKwv opviOcov dXX,o<; puev av Ti? 
davfidaeiev,'^ ifxol Se ov a^oXy] tovtoi<; irpoaex^i-v 
TOP vovv. he fieyLCFTOv elirelv e)(^o/j,ev tov 
')(a)piov, OTL TTpo'; irdaav virdpxov ^ Kapircav (j)opav 
eiTLTrjheLov hi evKaipiav tijs ^eVeo)?, tj^lcttov i/iol 
TrdvTcov KapTTCJV TTjV ifavy^iav Tpecpec,^ ov jjlovov 
icaOoTL TOiv dcTTLKOJV OopvfScov dirijWaKTai, aXX,* 
OTL ovSe oSItvjV TLvd TrapaTre/j-Tret, ttXtjv tcov kuto, 
Oi^pav eTrifjLiyvv/jLevcov rjficv. tt/do? <ydp toI<; "^ 
dXX.OL<; Kal 67]poTp6cf)o<; eaTiv, ov')(l dpKTwv rj 
XvKcov TCOV v/jLeTepcov (fiTj yevoLTo), aX-X,' iXdcfxDV 
uyeXa<; Kal alywv dypiwv Kal Xaywov<^ ^oaKei, 

Kal et TL TOVTOi^ OfXOLOV. 

'^Ap' ovv ovK ivOvpifj irap oaov rfxQov Kivhvvov 
6 /j,dTaio<i iyd), ToiovTOv ')(^(opiov tyjv Tifiepivrjv, 
T7J9 olKovjjLeP7)<; TO jSdpaOpov, (piXoveLKO)!' dvTaX- 
Xd^aaOaL ; tt/jo? oirep vvv eireiyopievw avyyvoiar]. 
7rdvTw<i yap ov8e 'AXKfxaicov 'E^^ii^aSa? ^ evpcov 
eTi T7J9 TrXdvr]^ rjueax^TO. 

^ fxeyicTTrjv C, iraawv add. K. ^ re MSS. 

^ irepieiXov/x^pov add. E. ■* idav/iacrep E, F. 

^ vtrovpyiav C. ^ e«-Tpe0ei E. 

"^ avTols A, B. ^ vr\rrovs E. 

^ The Tiberina was a district near Gregory's home at 
Nazianzus ; cf. Greg. Xaz=, Epp. vi and vii. 

IIO 



LETTER XIV 

deep whirlpool^ furnisliin*]^ nie, and every spectator, 
witli a most }>leasant sight, and providing the natives 
of the region Avith comjilete independence as to food, 
since it nourishes in its eddies an innumerable 
multitude of fish. 

Why need I mention the exhalations from the land, 
or the breezes from the river ? Someone else might 
well marvel at the multitude of the flowers or of the 
song-birds ; but I have not the leisure to turn my 
thoughts to these. The highest praise, however, 
which I can give to the place is that, although it is 
well adapted by its admirable situation to producing 
fruits of every kind, for me the most pleasing fruit it 
nourishes is tranquillity, not only because it is far 
removed from the disturbances of the city, but also 
because it attracts not even a wayfarer, except the 
guests who join me in hunting. For besides its 
other excellences it abounds in game, not those 
bears and wolves of yours (God forbid) ; but it feeds 
herds of deer and wild goats, hares, and animals like 
these. 

Do you not therefore realize the risk that I in my 
folly but narrowly escaped taking, when I was eager 
to exchange such a spot for the Tiberina,^ that pit 
of the whole world ? You will forgive me for 
hastening, as I do now, to this place. For after all, 
not even Alcmaeon, after he had discovered the 
Echinades,^ could endure to wander longer. 

2 Alcmaeon slew his mother ; but the Erinnys, the avenger 
of matricide, drove him mad, allowing him no rest anywhere. 
He finally obtained relief in a land which was not under the 
rays of the sun when the matricide was committed. Tliis 
land was the Echinades, islands at the mouth of the river 
Acheloiis, whose mudd^' stream is perpetually depositing new 
earth, and forming additional islands, 

III 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 
XV 

^ApKaSlo) KOfirjTL TrpLJBaTcov 

"Kh(DKav fiel^ova rrjv %a/)fz^ ^ eXa^ov ol iroXl- 
rai tt)? iirjTpOTToXeco^ rj/jLCJV, Trapaa-xofJ^evoi fioi 
a(j)op/jLr)v Tojv tt/jo? Tr]V arjv TL/jLt6Tr]Ta ypa/jL/jbaToyv. 
avToh fiev <yap rj ^iXavOpwrria, rj<; eveicev ti]V 
eTnaToXrjV eXa^ov irap rj/icjv, fcal rrpo rcov rjfxchv ^ 
ypa/jLfidrcov V7rrjp)(^€, Sia ttjv avvrjOr] /cal Tr)v i/c 
(pvaeax; ivu7rdp')(^ouadv ctol Trpo? iravra^ rj/juepo- 
Tt-jTa. 

'HyLtet? he rrjv d(f)op/uirjv tov 7rpo<T(f)6eyy€adaL^ 
(Tov TT]v dfiLfjLy]TOv KoXofcdyadiav p^kyidTOv Kepho^ 
idejJLeOa, eh^ppi^voi tw dyiw ©ew TrpOKOTTTOvrl aoL 
ev rfi 7r/509 avTov evapearijaei koX eiri [lel^ov Tr}<i 
TvepX ae 7repL(j)aveia<; av^avo/jLevr]<;, avToi re eirev- 
(ppalvecrOaL kuI rol<; evepyeTovpuevoL^i viro Tfj<; 
o-/}? eTTLcnacria^ avvi-jheadar Xa/Selv Be irore 
Kal Tou? iyx^LpL^ovrd^; aot rd ypd/xfiara tj/jlcov 
rjpLepco'; Ihelv, koX diT07rep.y\raa6ai fierd irdvrcov 
Kal avTov^, dvvfivovPTa<i rrjv arjv 7rpa6rr)Ta, del 
/j,a06vTa<i ore ovk a;)^p>;<7T09 avrol<^ i) irap* i)pl63v 
TTpeaffela Trpo? rrjv dwirip^XriTOV aov /ca\o- 
KayaOiav yeyevrjTai. 

^ 7)/jL€Tfpu;v C. ^ Trpoatpdey^aadai C. 

112 



LEITER XV 

LETTER XV 
To Arcadius, Imperial Treasureii ^ 

The citizens of our home city conferred a greater 
favour than they received Avhen tliey gave me the 
o})portunity of writing a letter to your honour. For 
your good-will, to gain which they procured this 
letter from me, was theirs even before we wrote, 
by reason of that wonted and inborn kindness whicli 
you possess toward all. 

We have counted it a very great advantage to 
have this opportunity of addressing your inimitable 
excellency, and we pray to the holy God that we 
may both ourselves continue to rejoice in your ever- 
increasing favour in His sight and in your ever- waxing 
distinction, and that we may also join in the happiness 
and pleasure of those who enjoy the benefits of your 
administration of your high office. We pray also 
that you may one day receive this our letter, and 
with kindness look upon those who deliver it to 
you, and that you may send them also back in 
possession of all they ask, singing the praises of your 
gentle courtesy, and with a lasting remembrance of 
our successful intercession on their behalf with your 
unsurpassed excellency.^ 

^ Written during Basil's retirement in Pontus. The 
official addressed managed the enormous revenues of the 
fiscus and kept account of the privileges granted by the 
emperor. 

* The Benedictine editors consider this last sentence 
impossible as it stands. The passage, however, seems 
entirely clear. 

VOL. L I 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 
XVI 

npO? ^VVO/MOV TOV alpeTLKov ^ 
'O e(f)LKT7)v elvai Xeycov roju ovrcov t})v evpeaiv, 

o8w TLV\ TTClVTOXi Kul afCoXovBlo, SlCL tT;? T(0V 

6vT0)v jv(oa€co<; TTape^aXev ^ eavrov rrjv hidvoiav 
Koi TOL<; €v\^]7rT0L^ re koX fjiiKpOT€poi<; iyyvfivaa- 
6eh Sia tt)? KaTa\')j'\lreco<^y ovrco koI eh ^ rrjv 
eireiceiva Trdarj^ ivvola'^ irpo^jyayev eavrov '^ /cara- 
XrjirriKijV ^avraaiav. 

OvKovv rrjv irepl rcov ovrcov elhrjaLv KareiXijcj)- 
evai /jieya\avxovp.evo^ ro a/jLi/cporarov rojv 
7rpo<paLvofjLevQ)v, ottco? ^X^^ ^ucew?, epfirjvevadro), 
KOI ri<; 7] rov fivpfiyKO^ (f)vaL<;, elirdrco' el irvev- 
fjLan Kol aa6/jLarL avvey^erai avrov rj ^coiy el oareoL^ 
ro crojfjLa ^ SietXTjirrar el vevpoL<; koi avvhea- 
/iot,<; rd<; GpiJLOVLa<; rerovcorar el pLVOJv 7rept/3o\y 
Kal dSivcov i) rcov vevpcov irepiKparelrai 6eaL<;- el 
T0t9 vcoriaLOL<; a7rovBuXoi<;^ €k rod ^peyjjLaro<; eirl 
ro ovpalov 6 /jlv6Xo<; avfiiTapareiveraL' el rfj 
7repL0)(fj rod vevpd)Sov<; vfxevo<^, roU KLvov/jLevot<i 
/jbeXeac rrjv op/jL7]ri/<7]v ivStScoaL Svva/iiv el eariv 
ev avrw ro rjirap, Kal ro )(^oX7]86xov dyyelov eirl 
rov rjiraro^, vecppoi! re Kal Kaphia Kal dprrjplai 



^ Sic E, F ; Y.vvoiiicp A, B, D ; irpls Evio/xiov alperiKlv on yuTjSe 
rrjv TOV fjLvp/jLTjKOS (pvatv iiri(rrafxevos tV ■ndvra vovv vjrepexovarav 
Zuvajxiv (pvcTLoKoyfilv eTrexeiprjaev C. 

* TTpo^^aKev editi ; uape^aXtv A, B, C, D, E, F. 

^ Trpos C, D. * lav7ov editi, sed ^avTou M8S. 

^ T(f awfxari E. ^ KovhvKois C, D. 

114 



LETTER XVI 

LETTER X\ I 

Against Eunomius, the herktic ^ 

He, who says that the discovery of things actually 
existing is attainable^ no doubt had some sort of 
method and procedure by means of which, through 
his apprehension of actually existing things, he has 
applied his own powers of reasoning : and, by first 
training himself to apprehend the insignificant and 
easily comprehensible, he has advanced his appre- 
hensive faculty to the apprehension of that which 
is beyond all intelligence. 

Now then let him who boasts of having ap})re- 
hended the knowledo^e of things actually existing 
interpret the nature of the most insignificant of 
phenomena. For instance, let him tell what is the 
nature of the ant. Is its life sustained by respira- 
tion and breath ? Is its body provided with a 
system of bones? Are its joints kept taut by 
sinews and ligaments ? Is the position of the sinews 
under the control of a covering of muscles and 
glands? Is its marrow stretched along the dorsal 
vertebrae from brow to tail ? Is it by means ot 
its envelope of sinewy membrane that the marrow 
gives to the movable members the power of pro- 
pulsion ? Does it possess a liver, a gall-bladder 
near the liver, kidneys, a lieart, arteries, veins, 

1 The bishop of Cyzicus, against whose Liber Apologcticus 
Basil wrote his Adversns Eunomium. This letter, however, 
is not one of Basil's, but a portion of Gregory of Xyssa's 
work Against Eunamius, 10 (Migne, P.G. 4a, 828). Cf. Fr. 
Diekamp, Ein angeblicher Brief des heilig. Basilius gegen 
Eunoniius : Theol. Quartalschrift, 77, 1895, 277-285. 

1 2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kol <^Xe/3e9, vfM6V€<; Kal BLacppdyfiara^ el yjriXov 
icTTiv, rj reTpL)(^coTar el ^ ixov(jovv')(^6v iariv, rj 
TToXucr^tSet? €-)(^et Ta<; ^daei<;' iroaov he /3loI top 
'Xpovov, Kal Tt9 avToh 6 Tp6iT0<^ tt}? ef aXkt]\wv 
yevvtjcreo)'^' eVl iroaov he KviGKejai to TiKToixevov 
Kai 770)9 ovre Tre^ol 7rdvTe<; ol /jL-up/ji7]Ke^, oure 
VTroirrepoi 7rdvTe<;, dX)C ol (xev ^ tmv ')(^afxal 
ep-y^oixevoov elaiv, ol he hiaepioi cf)epovTai. 

O Toivvv Tcov ovTcov rijv yvcoaiv eiriKo/jLTrd^oyv, 
reco<} rrjv rod fjLvpiJL7]K0<; (pvcriv elTrdrw eW ovrco 
(f)V(7Lo\oyeiTO) rrjv Trdvra vovv V7repe)(^ovo-av 
hvvajjLiv. el he rod ^paxvrdrov pivppL^iico^ ovTrco 
7repLe\a^e<i rrj yucoaei ttjv (pvcTLV, 7rw9 Tr)V aKard- 
XyjTTTOv Tov Seov hvvauiv iJL€ya\av')(el<; (pavrd- 
^eadai ; 



XVII 

^npLyeveL 

Kat aKovofJievo'^ ev^palveL^, koI dvayLvwo-KOfjue- 
vo^ hi o)v ypd(j)eL<; evepyearepa^ ^ rj/jLtp 7ra/C)e%ef9 
€v(j)poavva<;. koI %a/Dt9 iroWr) tw dyaOCo ^ew, 
Tw fi7)hev eXaTTwOfjvai irotyja-avTi rrjv dXrjdeiav 
ev rfj irpohoala tcov hijOev virepfcparovvTcov, dWd 
hi v/jLcou * Tr]P awqyopiav tov \6yov t?}9 evcre^- 
eta9 dvairXi-jpooaavTL. eKelvoL /xev ovv, &)9 to 
Kcovetov rj TO aKoviTOV, Kol el Tt9 dWi] dvhpo(f)6po^ 
^oTdvi-j, 7rpo<; okiyov dvOy^aavTe^ ^a^v d7ro^^]pav- 

1 el om. A, B, F. 2 ^^^ add. C, D. 

^ ipapyearepas A^ B, F. * ri/xccv E, F. 

ii6 



LETTER XVI 1 

membranes, and cartilage? Is it smootli-skinncd, 
or covered Avith liair? Has it an uncloven hoof, 
or arc its feet divided into toes ? How long docs 
it live: How does it reproduce its kind? How 
long is the fetus carried in the womb? How is 
it that ants neither all walk, nor all i\y, but some 
belong to the things that move upon the ground, 
while others travel through the air? 

Let him, therefore, who boasts the knowledge of 
actually existing things, first tell us of the nature ot 
the ant. Then and not till then may he investigate 
the nature of the power which surpasses all under- 
standing. If, however, you have not yet comj)re- 
hended the nature of the smallest ant by knowledge, 
how can you boast that the incomprehensible power 
of God is apparent to you ? 



LETTER XVII 

To Origen ^ 

It is a delight to listen" to you, and to read 
your works affords us a still more lively pleasure. 
Abundant thanks to the good God, who has not 
allowed the truth to succumb to the treachery of 
those who claim, forsooth, to prevail, but has 
furnished through you an advocacy of the doctrine 
of the true religion ! They, however, like hemlock 
or aconite and every other deadly herb, after a brief 

^ This letter, written during the reign of Julian, is the 
sole source for our information about this Origen. It is 
conjectured that he was a layman, who, alike as a rhetorician 
and a writer, was popularly known as a Christian apologist. 

117 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

O/jcrovrai. v/jLLV Se dvdqpov koX aei veov o K.vpio^ 
Tov fjLtadov Tcov vTrep rod 6v6/JLaTO<; avrov XaXr}- 
OivTCdv irape^ei. 

\\.v6' ojv KoX irapda^Oi vpj,v ^ 6 Kvpios ^ irdaav 
evOiiviav olkov, koI eh iralSa^ TralScov rrjv ev- 
Xoylav Sia/Si^dcraL. rd Se evyeveaTara TraiSla, 
TOL"? ivapyeh rf;? cr?}? ^(pyjaTOTrjTO^ %apa/<:T7)/)a9, 
elSov r)Sea)<; kuI 7repL6'7Trv^d/jL7]i', /col evy^opbai 
auTOt? ocra dv avTO<; 6 irajyjp ev^rj. 



XVIII 

yiaKapicp Kal "'Icodwrj ^ 

Ovre yewpyoi)'^ oi Kara yecopyiav ^evL^ovai 
TTovoL, ovre vavrai*; 6 Kara OdXaaaav ')(eLpbaiv 
d7rpoaS6KrjTO<;, ovre toI<; pLLcrOapvovaLv 6 * iSpcb<; 
7rapdBo^o<;, ovre firjv rot? eucre/Sw? ^fjv €\ofievot<; 
at Kara tov ivearoira Koafj-ov OXl-^eL^ afxeXe- 
T7]T0i.^ dXX^ €Kd(TT(p TOiv elprj/jLevcov olKeio^ Kai 
yvwpi/io^; TOi? fxeriovai ^ avve^evKTai irovo^, ov 
hC iavTOV a//)6T09, dXXd St diroXavaiv dyaOwv 
TTpoaSoKcofjLevcov. eXTTtSe? ydp, Trdvra tov tcov 
dvOpoDTTCDV avve'X^ovaaL Kal avyKporovaat ^iov, 
TT]v e^' €KdaT(p TOVTCov irapafJLvOovvTaL BvcrKoXlav. 

Tmv fiev ovv virep 77)? KapiTwv 1) tcov Kara 
yrjv TTovovvTcov, 01 fi€v iravrdiraaiv iylrevcrOrjcrav 

1 T)ixiv E. ^ u Kvpios om. C, D, E. 

' Ma^apicf Kal 'laon/77 E, F. Mo\-apiqu A, B, F. MaKplvcf 
Kai 'loidvuT] Soare ixrjBev i-rrl rals dia^oXais rapiffC^aQai C, D. 
* 6epivhs om. E, sed non alia MSS. 
5 ^ . . . e\l\pis o/xeAcTTjTor A, B, C, D, F. 

118 



LETTER XVIII 

period of bloom will quickly wither.^ liul as for 
you, the Lord will bless you with endless youtii and 
bloom as your reward for your defence of His name. 
Wherefore may the Lord also grant you all well- 
being at home, and may His blessings pass on to 
your children's children. I was delighted to see 
and embrace your noble children, express images of 
your own goodness, and in my prayers 1 invoke as 
many blessings for them as you their father can 
invoke. 



LETTER XVIII 
To Macarius and John ^ 

The labours of the farm do not seem strange to 
the farmer ; the storm at sea is not unexpected by 
the sailor ; sw^eat causes no wonder to the hired 
labourer ; and so to those who have chosen to live 
the life of piety the afflictions of this world are not 
unforeseen. Nay, to each of the aforesaid is joined a 
labour that is appropriate and well known to those 
who share it — a labour which is not chosen for its 
own sake, but for the enjoyment of expected 
blessings. For hopes, which hold and weld together 
man's entire life, give consolation for the hardships 
which fall to the lot of each of these. 

Now of those who labour for the fruits of the 
earth or for earthly things, some are completely 

^ The heretics will not prevail in the end, he says, how- 
ever successful they may be now. 

* Probably written in the reign of Julian. Note the ^IS. 
variations of the former of the two names addressed. 

^ To7s jifTiovai om. A, B, C, D, F. 

119 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Twz^ ekirihwv, /^^XP'' M^i^^? (^avraaia^ tcov irpoa- 
SoKcofievcov -^ Tr]v diroXavaiv 6Xovt€<;, 0I9 Be kol 
Kara yvco^ir^v iK^rjvai avve/Sr] to TeXo<;, 86VTepa<; 
eSiijae iraXiv eXiriho^, TrapaSpafiovcn]^ fcal /xapav- 
6eiai)<^ iv ^ Tcix^i' tt}? 7rpoT€pa<;. /ji6voL<; Se rot? 
virep eucre/Seta? KapLOvaiv ou '\jr€vBo<=; rj^dvLcre^ 
rdf; iX7ri8a<s, ov TeA.09 iXvfMrjvaTO tou? ddXov^,^ 
^6^aLa<; Ka\ ixovipiov hiahexofJievq^ t?)? tS)v 
ovpavayv /3aai\eia<;. 

M?; Toivvv uyLta? raparreTCd Sta^oXr) ^frevSyj^;, 
/iijSe (po^elro) tmv Kparovvrwv direLXiy fir] ^eXo)? 
XuTretTO) Kal vl3pt<; tcov yvcopi/jicop, fiTjBe KUTa- 
yvcoac'; irapd tmv KrjheaOaL TrpoairoLOv/jLevcov, 
la^ypoTaTov TTpo^ dirdTtiv SeXeap 7rpo/3aXXo- 
/xevcou ^ Trapaiveaeco'i 7rpoa7roL7]aiv,^ eco? dv 6 tt}? 
dXi^Oeia^ fj/jbtv avvaycL)Vi^r]Tai, Xoyo^;. dvTi,fjLax~ 
eaOo) Be rot? irdai XoyidfjLo^ 6p06<;, av/JL/juaxov 
TrapaKoXcov yeviaOai, Kal /3o)]dop "^ avTW tov ttj^ 
evae/Selw^ BuBdaKoXov tov Kvpiov yjficov 'Itjctovv 
^piCFTOV, Bi ov KOL TO KaKOTTaOelv i)Bv Kal to 
diroOavelv KepBo^. 

XIX 

Tprjyopiw eTaipw ^ 

TpdfjL/JLa rjXOe fJbOL irpcpriv irapd aov, dKpLJSoy^ 
(jov, ov ToaovTov Tw x^paKTTJpi, T^? %6i/309, oaov 

1 ru>u Trpoa5oKu/j.4i'uv om. F, ^ eV om. E. 

^ 'rrapr)(pdvia€ E. ■* toIs ad\ois A, B, C, D, F. 

^ lax^p^TO-rov . . . TTpo^aAKo/xeyuv om. A, B, F. 
^ TTpocnroirjcrei A, B. 
" irapaKaXuv . . . ^o-ndof om. A, B, C, 1), F. 

120- 



LETTER XIX 

deluded of tlieir hopes, in that they have this 
enjoyment of expected things merely in phantasy ; 
while others, for whom the result has by chance 
been as they wished, are in need of a second hope, 
since the first has speedily gone past them and 
withered away. Only for those who toil for piety's 
sake has no delusion blasted their hopes, no result 
spoiled the rewards, for the kingdom of heaven, firm 
and enduring, receives them. 

Therefore, so long as the word of truth is on our 
side, let no false slander disturb you, no threat of 
the powerful terrify you ; let not the ridicule and 
insults of your acquaintances offend you, nor yet the 
condemnation of those who pretend to care for 
you and who offer you deceit's most potent lure — 
the pretence of giving advice. Against them all let 
right reason give battle, summoning to be its ally 
and helper the teacher of piety, our Lord Jesus 
Christ, for whom to suffer is a delight and " to die 
is ffain." ^ 



LETTER XLX 

To Gregory, a friend - 

The day before yesterday a letter came to me 
from you. It was indeed strictly yours, not so much 

1 Phil. 1, 21. 

* This letter to Gregory of Nazianzus was probably 
written at Caesarea, shortly after Basil had been made a 
presbyter. Cf. Letter XIV and Introd., p. xxii. 

® Sic E ; T<^ avT^ A, B ; to? avTu aivoXoyia Siotl iiricmi- 
KavTi (v6hs oi'K arreypaif €v C, 1). 

121 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Tw T?}? e7naTo\i]<; lBi,(0(iaTL, oXLya yap rjv ra 
pij/jLara ttoWtjv Sidvoiav TrapLorrcovTa. tt/do? a ev- 
6v<; p.€V ovK aiT6KpLvdpe6a, 8l6tl avrol fiei> aTreSr]- 
fiov/xev, 6 Se ypa/ji/JLaT7](j)6po<;^ erl tmv eirtTriheicdv 
t)fMV eTTiBovf; Tr]v iTrio-ToXrjv diricov a))(^eTO, dWd 
vvv Bid Herpov irpoa^OeyyopieOd ere, ofJLOV fiev 
dirorivvvvre^; Tfj<; irpoay-jyopia^ to ')(p60<i, ofiov 
he dcjiop/xrjv Sevrepcov ypa/jifidTcov irapexovre^;. 
7rdvT(o<; Be ouSel? irovo^ AaKcovLKrj<i eTTicrroX^, 
oirolai elacv al irapd aov eKdaTOre tt/oo? ^yu,a9 

d(f}LKVOV/JL€VaL. 



XX 

AeovTio) ao(f)taTrj 

l^poi'ia fiev aot kol rd Trap" rjpiSyv ypafifiara, 
ov fi-qv y^povioojepa roiv avroOev, Kal ravra ttoX- 
\(Jov Kal Gvve')((iiv eTnBijp^jcrdvTcov tj/jlIp diro rrj<^ 
v/jLeTepa<;' ol<; el Trdaiv e'^ef^? ypd/jifiara err- 
€Tl67]<;,^ ovBev rjv to koSXvov avTw aot BoKelv 
avvelvai y/jLd<; Kal olovel irapovTa'^ Kai avvovTa^ 
diroXaveiv ovtcd <TVve)(^e^ r]v to 7r\rj6o<; twv 7rpo<; 

T)/jLd<; d(f)tKVOV/jLeVQ)V. 

'AXXa TL OVK eTTLaTeXXei^; ; KaiTOiye ovBev 
epyov (T0(f)io-T7], r) to ypdc^eiv fidWov Be el 
Kal T^9 %etpo? e^ei^ dpy6j<i, ovBe ypdcfyeiv BerjaeL, 
aX\o<i ydp aoi BtaKovi^aei. 7X06x77;? Be XP^^^ 
fiovY)^' rj Kav i)pA,v fii] BiaXeyi^Tai, aXX' evi ye 
7rdvTw<; tmv avvovTcov XaXija-et, Kav fiijBe}^ Trapfj, 

^ Sic A, B, C, D, E ; ypauaaro(p6pos editi. 
2 iiriTideis C, D, E. 
122 



LETTER XX 

in Imndwriting as in the letter's peciilinr quality. 
For though the sentences were few they offered 
much tiiought. 1 did not answer it immediately, 
because I myself was away from home, and the 
letter-carrier departed straightway as soon as he had 
handed the letter to one of my friends. We now 
through Peter salute you, and thereby at the same 
time fulfil my obligation to send greetings, and 
furnish you with another opportunity of writing. 
Surely no trouble is involved in writing a Laconic 
note, such as the letters which come to me from you 
invariably are. 

LETTER XX 

To THE SOPHIST LeONTIUS ^ 

Our letters to you are far between, yet no more 
so than yours to us, in spite of the fact that many 
people are ever journeying hither from your land. 
If you had entrusted a letter to each one of these 
in turn, there would have been nothing to prevent 
my imagining myself in your very company and 
enjoying you as though I were present with you ; 
so continuous has been the number of arrivals here. 

But why do you not write .^ Surely a sophist has 
nothing to do but write ; or rather, if your hand is 
slothful, you need not even write, for someone else 
will do it for you. The only requirement is a 
tongue. If this does not converse with us, it will 
surely talk with one of your pupils, and if no pupil 

^ Written in 364. Basil refers to a Leontius in Letter 
XXXV. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAL\T BASIL 

e^' €avTr]<i BiaXi^eraf cricoTDJcrei Be ouBa/jLco<;, 
(T0(j)taTtK7] re ■'■ ovcra koI ^ArrrLKi], ov fiaWov ye 
rj al ar]h6ve<;, orav to eap avra^ 7rpo<; wSr)v 
avaaTi](jr). 

'HyLtti/ fiev yap to ttvkvov t/}? d(T)^oXLa<; tovto 
iv M vvv iajiev kolv irapaiTrjcjiv eueyKot tv^ov 
irpo^ TrjV evheiav tcov ypafx/xaTcov^ /cal to olovel 
eppvTTwaOat, Xolttov ttj /caTafcopel avvi^deia ^ 7rpo<i 
ISlcotl(T/jLOV okvov €1/c6tco<; efjLTTOiel 7rpocr(p6eyy6adai 
vfid<; T0v<; ao(pi(TTd<;, oi, el /i7] tl d^iov Ti)<; v/xe- 
Tepa<; avTwv ao^ia<; cifcovaeaOe, hvcr')(epavelTe Kal 
ovK dve^eaOe. ae Be irov to ivavTiov elKo<^ iirl 
7rda)]<; irpocpdaea)^ Brj/jLoateveiv aavTov^ ttjv 
(j)0)V7]v, eiTLTi^BeLov ovTa el-TTelv uv avTo<; olBa 
'EWyvcov. olBa ydp, o)? olfiai, toi)? ovo/iiaaTO- 
TaTOv; TMV ev v/ullv.^ McrTe ouBefxta 7rapaiT7)at<; 
aLcoTTOJVTL. Kal TavTa fxev eh ToaovTov. 

^ AireaTeCka Be fcal Ta iTpo<^ Fjvvofiiov d elVe 
iraiBidv y^prj KoKelv, etre puKpcp iratBLd^; arrov- 
BaLOTepa, avTw aoL Kpiveiv TrapL^jfjH' 09^ 7rpo<; 
fxev TO. oiicela aavTov ovKeTc, olfiai, XPV^^^^> 71/309 
Be Twv evBiacTTpo^cov tov<; ivTvy^dvovTa^ ov/c 
dyevve'^ (tol 6tt\ov eaecrOai irpoorBoKM' ov ttj 
Buvd/i€t Tov (TvvTdyfxaTO^ KaTa7rL(TTevovTe<; Toa- 
ovTOV, aXV a/cp^ySw9 yv(opL^ovTe<; diro oXiywv 
d(j)opfjL(bv iirl TToXKd ae ovTa eupeTiKov. edv Be 
TL aol Kal daOeveaTepov e%eti^ tt)^ XP^^^^ KaTa- 

1 ye A, B. 2 Sic MSS. ; irpayfjcdruv Ed. Beu. 

^ KOTOKopet avvrid€ia] KaraKopia A, B, C, D. 

* avTov B. ^ T]fJuv A, B. ^ oaov E. 

^ A dogmatic work in three books, "Refutation of the 
Apologetic of the impious Eunomius" ('AvaT/^en-Tt/cbs rov 
124 



LETTKR XX 

is at hand, it will go on conversing by itself. But in 
no event will it be silent, being both so])histic and 
Attic, any more than the nightingale when spring 
stirs it to song. 

In our case the mass of business in which we are 
now engaged might })erhaps afford some excuse for 
our failure to write. Besides, the stain, as it were, 
that 1 have taken on by my tiresome association 
with the vulgar makes me naturally reluctant to 
address you sophists, who will become vexed and 
impatient unless you hear something worthy of your 
own wisdom. You, I suppose, on the other hand, 
will naturally accept every pretext to publish your 
words abroad, since of all the Greeks whom I know 
you are the best fitted to speak. And I know, I 
think, the most celebrated men among you. There 
is then no excuse for your silence. But I have said 
enough on this subject. 

I have sent you also my work against Eunomius.^ 
Whether we should call this child's play or some- 
thing a little more serious than child's play, I leave 
you to judge. You yourself, I imagine, are no 
longer in need of the book for your own enlighten- 
ment, but against such of the perverse as read it, 
I believe you will find it no mean weapon ; it is 
not so much that I feel confidence in the potency 
of my essay, but rather that 1 am keenly aware 
that you have the ingenuity to go far with scanty 
resources.- But if any argument strikes you as 

cLTToXoyriTiKOv Tov Svacre^uvs Evvo/xiov), composed ill 363 or 
3()4. In the year 360 Eunomius had been deprived of his 
episcopate in Cyzicus because of his Arian views. 

* I.e. he can make much of the argument which Basil 
advances in the book in question. 

125 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

(jyavfj, fX7j KaTOKvy]arj<; iXey^ac. tovtw ^ yap 
fiakLara <^tXo9 KoXaKO^ hievi]vox^y Tfp tov fxev 
7rpo<; r)Bov7]v o/iLXelv, rov Se fiTjSk ^ rwv \vitovv- 
Tcov cLTrixecrdaL. 



XXI 

AeovTLw ao^iaTTJ 

"FjOLKS tl T7J9 KoivT]<; KaTacrrdaew^ koi eh ra 
eavTOv TTpdyfxara 6 ')(p7]aT0<; 'lov\iavo<^ citto- 
Xaveiv. diranelraL yap Kal avTO^ kuI iyfcaXelrai 
(7(f)oSpo)^, ineiSr) iravra vvv diraiTOvp,evwv Kal 
iyKaXovpevcov yep^ei. ttXijv ocrov ov-)(l ela(^opo}V 
eWeLp/jLara, ciXX einaToXoiv. KaiTOi^ iroOev 
avTW iXXiXeiTTTac dyvoay eScoKe yap del eiri- 
cnoXi'-jv, rrjv he eKopicraTO. et prj n ttov Kat irapa 
aol * /; iToXvO pv\Xr}TO<i avrrj TerpaTrXrj irpore- 
riprjTai. ovhe yap ol YlvOayopLOi roaovrov 
7rpoeTip7)crav ri]v rerpaKrvv, 6a ov ol vvv eKXey- 
ovTe<; TO, h-qpoaia rrjv TerpaTrXrjv. Kairoiye 
iaco<; TO evavTiov elKo<^ rjv, aocpLarrjv ovTa Kai 
evTTopovvra Xoycov toctovtcov, avrov rjplv et? rrjv 

^ TOVTCp] eV TOVTCf} E. ^ I^V'''^ A, B, C, D. 

3 Kal Th E, F. * (Tod C, D. 

^ For this sentiment, oft-repeated, see Plutarcli, ttws &v 
Tis SiaKpi'.'eie rlv sioXaKarov (piXov (How one should distiuguisli 
a flatterer from a friend). 

2 Written in the year 364. A very puzzling letter unless 
Leontius is identified with "the good Julian." Julian or 
Leontius has written to complain of Basil's not answering 
his letters ; and this is Basil's reply. Cf. Letter CCXCIII. 

126 



LETTER XXI 

weaker than it should be, do not hesitate to criticize. 
For herein especially does a friend differ from a 
flatterer ; the flatterer speaks to give pleasure, but 
the friend refrains from nothing, even that which 
gives pain.^ 

LETTER XXI 

To THE SOPHIST LeoNTIUS^ 

The good Julian seems to take advantage of the 
general situation with reference to his own affairs. 
For he too keeps demanding payment and making 
vehement accusations, at this time when all the 
world is teeming with men who demand payment 
and make accusations ; but in his case it is not for 
default in taxes but in letters. Yet how it comes 
that he has suffered any default I do not know ; 
for invariably he has only bestowed a letter after he 
has already received one. Unless it be, perchance, 
that you too have a preference for the much-talked- 
of ^'^ fourfold." ^ For not even the Pythagoreans 
clung so tenaciously to their ^^ quaternion," * as the 
tax-collectors of to-day do to their " fourfold " ! And 
yet perhaps the opposite would be the only fair 
arrangement — that you, who are a sophist and so 
well supplied with words in that amount, should 

^ According to the Benedictine note this refers to no 
regular tax, but to a punishment for unpaid taxes, demand- 
ing four times the ordinary amount. Cf. Ammianus Marcel- 
linus, xxvi. <). 

* The term applied by the Pj'thagoreans to the sum of 
tlie first four numbers, one, two, three, and four — the 
numbers applied respectively to the point, the line, the 
surface, and the solid, and considered by them to be the root 
of all creation. 

127 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Twz^ T€Tpa7r\aaiCDv €Ktl(tlv viroKeladaL. Kal /^r; 
OLOV ravra hva')(^epaivovTa<^ r)ixa<^ ypdcpCLV. ')(aip(o 
yap (Tov zeal Tal<^ jiepiy^reaLV, eireihrj roU AraXot? 
(paal TTcivra fiera Trj<; tov koKov TrpoaOrjKrff; 
yLveaOai' oWre Aral Xvira^ avTOt<; Kal opya,'^ 
eTnTTpeTTeiv?- ijBcov yovv civ rz? iSot opyt^o/xevov 
TOV dyaircofMevov, rj OepairevovTa eTepov, /xijiroTe 
ovv dvfj<; eyKokwv TOiavTa. ypafifiUTa yap ttov 
eaTai avTa ra eyKKr]\xaTa? oiv efiol ovBev dfcov- 
(T/xa TLpLLOJTepov, ovSe irXeiova (pepov ti]v rjSovTjv. 



XXII 

Uepl TeXefOT>;T09 filov fiova^^^cov ^ 

TloXkcJV OVTWV TMV VTTO Tr}<; OeOTTVeVCTTOV 

Tpa(j>'f]<; SrjXovfievcov tojv KaTopdovcrOaL 6(pei\6v- 
Twv TOt? iaTTovSaKocrtv evapeaTrjcrai tw Sew, irepl 
/jLovcov rect)? tcjv iirl tov 7rap6vT0<; KtvrjdevTcov 
Trap* vfiLv, CO? efxaOov ef avTrj<; t^9 OeoirvevaTOV 
Tpacpy^, iv avvTOfKo viropLvrjo-eL elirelv ^ dvay- 
KaL(o<; ^ irpoe&vjJLi-jdrjV, ti]v irepl eKaaTOv fiapTV- 
piav evXrfjTTOv ovaav /caTaXelyjra^; iTriyivwcTKeLV 

^ iiriTp^TTClV C, D, F. 

- yap TTOV . . . ^yKXrifxara om. A, B. 

^ aveTriypa<pos, kuvwv aKpi^rjs ttjs Kara rh €vayye\iov tov 
Xpi(TTOV dcr/fTJTJKTJS 7roAt7€tos C 1). 
* eiTretj/ om. C, D, E. 
^ avayKaiws om. C, D. 

128 



LETTER XXII 

yourself be liable to us for the payment of tlie 
"fourfold." Now do not think that we write tiiese 
words with any ill-feeling. For I delight even in 
your censures, because, as they say, "^ Every act of 
the beautiful carries with it a bit of beauty added," 
and consequently outbursts of both grief and anger 
become them. At any rate one would rather see a 
beloved friend indulge in anger than anyone else in 
flattery. Do not then cease making charges like the 
last. For these very accusations will probably take 
the form of letters, than which nothing is more 
valued by me and nothing brings me greater 
pleasure. 

LETTER XXII 

Without address ; on the Perfection of the 
Monastic Life^ 

Since in the divinely inspired Scriptures many 
directions are set forth which must be strictly 
observed by all who earnestly wish to please God, 
I desire to say, necessarily in the form of a brief 
reminder, a few words based upon the knowledge 
which I have derived from the divinely inspired 
Scriptures themselves, regarding for the present 
merely those questions which have at this present 
time been stirred up among you. By so doing I 
shall leave behind me, in a form easy to apprehend, 
their testimony on every point for those to observe 

^ Probably written in 304. This letter is an excellent 
illustration of the fact that St. Basil based his conception 
of the religious life entirely upon the Holy Writ. It is 
to be noted that Basil here identifies the monastic life 
with the ideal Christian life. Cf. Introd. p. xix. 

129 

VOL. I. K 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TOW izepl Ti-jv avdyvcocTiv airaa^oXovfievot^;, 
OLTLV€<^ l/cavol ecrovrai Kal eTepovq v7rofii/jLV)](TK€LV.^ 

''Ort Sel TOP ^piaTiavov a^ia tT;? iirovpaviov 
k\7](760i)(; ^ (ppovelv, Kal a^i(o<; rod evayyeXiov rod 
'Kpiarov TToXireveaOai. on ov Sec top Xpi(Tr- 
Lavov fierecopL^eadaL, ovBe cK^eKKeadat vtto 
TLvo<^ airo T^9 /jLV}]fi')'i'i Tov Qeov Kal tcov avrov 
deXt^fjLCLTwv Kal Kpifxarcov. on oet tov X.pLanav6v, 
KpeiTTova TCOV KaTa tov vopuov SLKaico/iaTcov yevo- 
jievov iv iraai, fii]T€ o/ivvetv fjL7]TeyjrevSeadai. otl 
ov Bet ^Xaa(j)r]/JL€LV' otl ov Bel vffpi^eiv. otl ov 
Bel pLd')(€a6aL' otl ov Bel eavTov eKBiKelv otl ov 
Bel KaKov dvTi KaKov diroBLBovat' otl ov Bel 
opyi^eaOaL. otl Bel /jLaKpoOv/ielv irav^ otlovv 
TTacrp^oi^ra, Kal eXeyX^Lv evKaipw^i tov dBLKovvTa, 
ov /jLrjv iv TrdOet Tr}<^ eavTov eKBLKi^aeoa^i, dXX' iv 
imOv/jLLa Tfj<; tov dBeXcf)ov Biop9coaeco<;, KaTa ttjv 
ivToXrjv TOV J^vpiov. otl ov Bel KaTa dirovTOfi 
dBeXcpov Xeyeiv tl (tkoitu) tov BtafidXXeiv avTov, 
oirep ecTTt KaTaXaXia, kclv dXi]6rj y tcl Xeyofxeva. 
OTL Bel TOV KaTaXaXovvTa dBeX(f)ov d'TToaTpe(^ea6aL. 

"Otl OV Bel evTpdireXa (p6eyyea0ai. otl ov Bel 
yeXav ovBe yeXoiaaToyv dvex^aOai. otl ov Bel 
dpyoXoyelv, XaXovvTd tl o /ii]Te TTyoo? aocpeXetav 
T(x)v dKOvovTOiv iaTi fjL7]Te 7rpo<; tt]v dvayKalav 

^ cLTiva ijrl ruvra add. C, D. ^ KK-qpovofxias C, D. 

3 xavTore C, D. 



1 Heb. 3. 1. 2 Phil, 1 27. ^ Luke 12. 29. 

* Matt. 5. 20. 5 Titus 3. 2. « 1 Tim. 2. 13. 

' 2 Tim. 2. 24. s Rq^-j, 1.2. 19. 9 Rom. 12. 17. 

10 Matt. 5. 22. 11 James 5. 8. 12 xitus 2. 15. 



130 



LETTER XXII 

who are too much occupied for reading; these will 
then be competent to recall the truth to others. 

The Christian ought to think thoughts worthy 
of his heavenly vocation/ and conduct himself 
worthily of the Gospel of Christ.^ The Christian 
should not be frivolous^ or easily drawn away by 
anything from the remembrance of God and from 
His will and judgments. The Christian, being in 
all things superior to the ordinances of the law, 
should neither swear nor lie.* He ought not to 
speak evil,^ to insult,^ wrangle, "^ revenge himself,® 
render evil for evil ^ or get angry. ^^ He should be 
long-sufFering/i should endure to suffer anything 
whatever, and should rebuke an offender in due 
season,^^ not with a feeling for personal vengeance, 
but with a desire for his brother's correction, ^^ 
according to the commandment of the Lord. The 
Christian should say nothing behind a brother's 
back with the purpose of slandering him, for it is 
slander in any case, even if what is said is true.^* 
He ought to turn away from him who practises 
slander against a brother. ^^ 

The Christian ought not to speak in a light vein.^^ 
He ought not to make merry or tolerate merry- 
makers.^' He must not talk idly, prattling of things 
which neither conduce to tlie benefit of his listeners 



13 Matt. 15. 18. 1* 2 Cor. 12. 20, and 1 Peter 2. 1. 

15 1 Peter 8. 16-17, and James 4. 11. i^ Eph. 5. 4. 

1' "This charge is probabl}' founded on Luke 6. 21 and 25, 
and James 4. 9. Yet our Lord's promise that they who 
hunger and weep 'shall laugh,' admits of fulfilment in the 
kingdom of God on earth. Cheerfulness is a note of the 
Church, whose members, if sorrowful, are yet always 
rejoicing. (2 Cor. 6. 10)." Jackson. 

k2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kal avy/c€)(^(opi]/jLevr]v y/icv viro ^ rod Seov ')(p€iav' 
ware Kal rov<; ipya^ofievov<; airovhdl^eiv Kad^ 
oaov Svvarov /xera ^]av)(La<; ipyd^eadai, Kal 
avTov<; Be roi)? dya0oij<; \6yov<; tt/jo? eKelvov^ 
Kivetp, Toz)? 7r€7riaT€vpevov<; pLerd 8oKipaaia<; 
oiKovopelv Tov \6yov 7Tpo<; OLKoSofirjv t?}? TTiaTew^;, 
Itva pi-q XvTTijTai to Uvevpa to dyiov tov Qeov. 
OTL ov hel Tcov eireLaep-^opevcov Tivd iw^ e^ovaLa<; ^ 
eyy L^eiv rj XaXelv tlvI twv dh€\(j)(ov, irplv dv ol 
eiTLTeTaypevoL ttjv (f>povTL8a r?)? iv irdaLv €VTa^ia<; 
hoKLpbdawcn irco^ dpeaKec Sew 7rpo<; to kolvtj 
(Tvpcfiepov. OTL ou Bel o'lvw BeSovXaycrdaL, ovt6 
irepl Kpea epL7ra6co<i e^^iv, Kal KaOoXov irepl ovBev 
jSpMpLa 7) TTopia (f)iX7]Bovov elvar 6 yap dycovi^o- 
pevo^ irdvTa eyKpaTeveTai. otl tmv BtBopLevcov 
eKaaTW eh 'X^prjaiv ovBev &)9 iBiov e)(eLV Bet rj 
TapieveaOai' iv pevTOi ttj (f^povTiBi irdaLv co? 
Bea7roTLKOL<; irpoo'i'x^ovTa, prjBev tcov TrapappLirTO- 
pevcdv rj dpLeXovpevcov, dv ovtco tv^t], irapopav. 
OTL ov Bel ovTe avTov eavTov KvpLov elvai TLva, 
dXX' ft)? vTTo ®€ov TrapaBeBopLevov eh BovXeiav 
To?9 6po'\jrv'^oL<; dBeX(f)OL<i,^ ovtco Kal <l)poveLV 
irdvTa Kal iroLelv, eKaaTOv Be iv tw IBico TaypLUTi. 
"Otl ov Bel yoyyv^eLv, ovts iv tt) aTevo^copia 
rcov 7r/30? Trjv ')(peiav ovt€ iv tw KapudTCO tcov 
epycov, i^ovTcov to Kpipa Trepl eKdcTTOV tcov iiTL- 
TeTaypiivcov ttjv tovtcov i^ovcriav. otl ov Bel 
Kpavyrjv yiveaOaL, ovts dXXo tl a^rjpa rj KLvrjpa 

^ T]ix7v VTTO om. E. 2 <X«"' add. C, D. 

^ a.Ze\<poLS om. C, D. 

1 Eph. 5. 4. 2 1 Peter 4. 3. ^ ^^^^ 14, 21. 



LETTER XXII 

nor to the activities that are indispensable and 
permitted us by God ; ^ so that both the workers 
may as far as possible have silence in which to apply 
themselves zealously to their work, and that they 
themselves, who have been entrusted after trial with 
the dispensation of the word for the upbuilding of 
the faith, may speak only good words to the workers, 
lest God's Holy Spirit be grieved. No one of 
those who enter into positions of authority should 
approach or speak with one of the brothers, before 
those charged with the general discij)line shall 
examine how this is pleasing to God, with an eye 
to the common good. The Christian ought not 
to be a slave to wine,- nor fond of meat,^ nor 
in general to find pleasure in food or drink ; ^ for 
^•^ everyone that striveth for the mastery refraineth 
himself from all things."^ He ought not to hold 
or store up as his own what is given to all for their 
own use ; ^ but he should take heed for all things 
carefully as belonging to the Master, and permit 
nothing that is thrown aside or, if this should be 
the case, neglected, to pass unseen. He should not 
consider himself as his own master, but as having 
been delivered by God into servitude to his brethren 
of like spirit, so he should always think and act ; "^ 
"but everyone in his own order." ^ 

The Christian should not grumble,^ either at the 
scarcity of his necessities or at the labour of his 
tasks, for those charged with authority in these 
matters have final decision over each thing. There 
should be no clamour, or any scene or commotion 



* 2 Tim. 8. 4. ^ 1 Cor. 9. 2.",. e Acts 4. 32. 

' 1 Cor. 9. 19. 8 1 Cor. 15. 23. » 1 Cor. 10. 10. 



^33 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

iv w ')^apaKT7jpL^€Tai, dv/JL6<;, rj /i€T€copta/jLO<; airo 
T?}? 7r\i]po<pGpLa<; tou Trapelvai .tov Qeov. otl Bel 
rfj XP^^9 avfi/xerpelv irjv (^wvrjv. on ov Bet 
6paaeco<; ^ rj KaTa4>povr]TLKO)<i rivl airoKplveadai r) 
TTOielv Tt, aXV iv Trdai to i7rL6iKe<; koI to tl^jT)- 
TLKov 7r/309 irdvTa^ BeiKvveii'. otl ov Set evveveiv 
6(f>0a\/jLW fieTCL BoXov, ?} aWqy tlv\ a')(i'-jiJiaTL rj 
KLV7]/jLaTi- /jL€\ov<; K€)(prjcr6aL, o Xviret tov aSeX^ov 
rj KaTa(f)p6vr]aLv ip,(paLV€i. 

''Ot£ ov Bel KaWcoTTL^eaOai iv ifiaTLOi^; rj 
vTToSij/jLaaiv, oTrep eVrt irepTTepeia. oti Bel evTeX- 
eac Ke-)(pr]a6ai rot? 77/309 Tr)v %/oetai^ tov crw/xaro?. 
oTi ov Bel virep tijv %/36tai^ ^ Kal ^ irpo^ BayjrlXeiav 
avaXiaKeiv ovBf.v,^ oTrep iaTl 7ra/3a;)^/?>;o"t?. otl 
ov Bel tl/jltjv im^riTelv, 1) irpcoTeiodv avTiTroielaOai. 
otl Bel eKUGTOv irpOTtfjiav ^ eavTOv ^ 7rdvTa<;. otl 
ov Bel awTTOTUKTov elvai. otl ov Bel dpyov 
iaOleLv TOV ipydteadaL Bwdfievov, dWa Kal tov 
dGyo\ov\xevov irepi tl tmv KaTopOovjjLevwv eh 
Bo^av ^pLaTOv ^ iK/Bid^eo-OaL eavTOV eh tt]V 
arTTOvBrjV tov KaTa Buva/iiv epyov. otl Bel eKa- 
GTOV BoKLfiacria tcov TrpoeaToyTcov, /xeTa \6yov Kal 
7r\7]po(popLa<;, ovto) ttolcIv irdvTa, d,')^pL Kal avTov 
TOV (payeiv Kal inelv, w? eh Bo^av 0eoi) yLvofieva.^ 
OTL ov Bel d(f)' eTepov eh eTepov epyov /xeTa/Balveiv 
avev TT}^ BoKL/jLaala^ tmv eh to BiaTVirovv Ta ^ 
ToiavTa eiTLTeTay/xevcov, eKTO<; et /jLT) ttov TLva 

^ Tpax^o)s C, D. ^ uTi . . . xpf*^'' om. C. 

2 /JLT] add. C. * ovSeV oni. C. 

^ TTpoTifxaadai C. ® vTrep eavrhv C. 

' Ofov C. ® "yivojxiva om. C ; yivofxivov E. 

' Toij/ eis rh hiarvirovv to] Tr\s els rhv ZiarimovvTa E. 
^° i-niT^Tayixivov E, Terayfieuuv C. 



LETTER XXII 

wherein anger is expressed/ or any otlier elation 
of the mind wliicli draws us away from the full 
assurance of God's presence.- The voice should 
be modulated according to circumstances. The 
Christian should neither answer anyone nor act 
boldly or contemptuously,^ but in all things he 
should exhibit modesty^ and reverence to every- 
one.^ He ought not to wink covertly nor use any 
other posture or gesture which grieves a brother 
or shows contempt.® 

The Christian should not be ostentatious in clothing 
or sandals^ for all this is idle boasting.^ He should 
wear cheap clothes according to the need of the 
body. He should consume nothing beyond what is 
necessary or which tends to extra vagance^ for all 
this is abuse. He should not strive for honour nor 
always seek the first place. ^ Each one should hold 
all men above himself.® He should not be dis- 
obedient.^^ He who is able to work ought not to 
eat the bread of idleness/^ but even he who is busy 
about some duty established to the glory of Christ 
should constrain himself to zeal for such work as he 
can do.^- Each one should, by the approval of his 
superiors^ with reason and with full assurance, so do 
all thinjTs, even to actual drinking; and eatinff, as 
being to the glory of God.^^ The Christian should 
not turn from one work to another without the 
approval of those assigned for the regulation of such 

1 Eph. 4. 31. 2 Heb. 4. 13. ^ xitus 3. 2. 

^ Phil. 4. 5. 5 Rom. 12. 10. and 1 Peter 2. 17. 

« Rom. 14. 10. ' Matt. 6. 29 and Luke 12. 27. 

8 Mark 9. 37. » Phil. 2. 3. 

10 Titus 1. 10. 11 2 Thess. 3. 10. 

" 1 Thess. 4. 11. 13 1 Cor. 10. 31. 

135 



COLLFXTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

a7rapatT?;T09 avajKi] eh /SoijOeiav rod dBwarij- 
aavTO<; KoKoir} al(f)vl8iov. on Set exaarov fieveiv 
iv 60 ird'x^dr], koX /jltj vTrep/Sai'vovra to iSlov 
fierpov iTrt/Saiveiv Tot9 /i^ iTTirerayfiivoc';, el firj 
TC dv ol ravra TreirLaTevfievoL SoKifidcrcoo-L riva 
^py^ovra iBorjOeia^. on ov hel dcj)' iripov ipya- 
arrjpLov ei? erepov evpiGKeadai nva. on ov hel 
Kara ^iXoveLKiav rj epiv ti-jv irpo^ nva iroielv n. 

"Ore ov Eel (j>6ov€tv rfj erepov ^ evSoKLfiyjcreL, 
ovre ^ eVi^at/jetz^ eXarrcofiaai nvo<^. on Bel iv 
dydirT] Xptarov \v7rela9aL fxev kol avvrpi/Beadai 
errl roL<; rod dBe\(l)0v iXarrco/iaaiv, evc^paiveo-Oai 
he eirl rol<; KaropOoopbaaiv. on ov Bel dhLa(f>opelv 
eirl rol<; dpaprdvovacv i) i(j))]avxd^€LV avroh. 
on Set rov eXeyxovra fierd Tra'cr?/? evaTT\ay)(yLa'^, 
(p6l3(p ©eoO Kal aKoirw rov iTncrrpeyjrat rov 
dfjiaprdvovra, e\.ey)(eLV. on Bel rov e\ey')(^6pbevov 
Tj eTTLnp.wfJievov KaraheyeaOai irpoOvp.w^;, yvwpi^- 
ovra ro eavrov ocpeXo^ iv rfj hiopOoiaeL. on ov 
Bel, iyKoXovpevov nvo^ ciKXov, evaomov ixeivov rj 
dWwv nvwv dvriKeyeiv rw iy/caXovvn. idv Be 
dpa TTore akoyov (pavfj ro eyxXrjp^d nvi, Kar 
IBlav KLvelv Xoyov tt/oo? rov iyKoXovvra, Kal rj 
7rXy]po(popeiv rj 7rXr}po(f)opeLaOai. 

"On Bel efcaarov, oai] Bvvapa^,^ depaireveiv rov 
e^ovrd n Kar avrov. on ov Bel piviiaiKaKelv rep 
dp.apri]aavn Kal fieravoovvn, dXX' iK KapBLa<i 
d(pelvai. on Bel rbvXeyovra peravoelv e<^' dpbap- 
r7]p,an pb-q puovov Karavvyr\vai i(f)' (L rjpaprev, 



^ ocTTj hvvaixis fKaarou C. 



136 



LETTER XXII 

matters^ unless perchance some inevitable necessity 
suddenly calls one to the aid of the helpless. Eacli 
one sliould remain where he has been placed, and 
not transgress his own bounds to enter upon un- 
bidden places, unless those entrusted witli these 
matters judge one to be in need of aid. He should 
not be found going from one workshop to another. 
He should do nothing out of a feeling of rivalry or 
contentiousness toward anyone. 

The Christian should not be envious of another's 
good reputation, nor rejoice over his faults.^ Through 
love for Christ he should be grieved and distressed 
at his brother's faults and rejoice over his successes. - 
He should not be indifferent to sinners or silent 
before them.^ He who reproves another should do 
so with all tenderness,* in fear of God and with a 
view to reforming the sinner.^ He who is reproved 
or reprimanded should endure it willingly, recog- 
nizing the benefit received in being set aright. 
When a person is being accused, the Christian 
should not, before him or other persons, contra- 
dict the accuser. But if the accusation should ever 
seem unjust, the Christian should arrange a private 
conversation with the accuser, and either give or 
receive full information. 

Each one should, according to his power, enter- 
tain a kindly feeling for everyone who has a 
grievance against him. He should not hold past 
wrongs against the repentant sinner, but should 
grant forgiveness from the bottom of his heart.^ 
He who says that he repents of a sin should not only 
feel remorse for his sin, but should also produce 



1 1 Cor. 13. 6. 


2 1 Cor. 12. -26. 


3 1 Tim. 5. 20. 


* 2 Tim. 4. '2. 


5 2 Tim. 4. 2. 


« 2 Cor. 2. 7. 

137 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aWa KoX Kaprrov^ a^iov^ iroirjaai t?}? jjueravoia'^. 
on 6 iirl TOi<; irpooroi'^ dfiaprij/xacTL iraihevOel'; 
Koi T?)? a(f)€(T€Ct)<; a^iw6ei<^, iav ttoXlv afidprrj, 
')(^elpov Tov irporepou Karaafcevd^ei kavrw to Kpipua 
T^? 6pyr)<;. on Set tov /i6Ta ttjv TrpcoTrjv Kal 
SeuTepav vovdeaiav iTTifievovTa tw iXaTTcofiaTi 
eavTov (pavepovadai tw irpoeaTCOTL, iav dpa inro 
irXeLovcov eTnTL/jLrjdel^ ivTpaTrfj. iav Sk /jLrjBe ovtco 
SiopOcoaijTai, o)? GKavhaXov iKKOTTTeaOau tov 
XoLTTOv, Kal CO? idvLKOv Kal TeXcovrjv opaaOai 7rpo<; 
TTfV dacpdXeiav tcov ttjv aTrovSrjv t^? v7TaKoi]<; 
ipya^ofiivcov, kuto, to elpTj/xevov, ^Ao-e^covKaTain- 
TTTOvTwv, SiKaLoi €[1(^0^01 yivovTai. Bel Be Kal 
TrevOelv iir^ avTW, o)? /x€\ov<; iKKOTrevTO^; iK tov 
o-w/xaTO?. 

'Otl ov Bel iv ^ TTapopyiafjiw dBeXcpov iiriBdvai 

tov rjXiOV, /JL7] TTOTG i] VV^ BiaaTrj fl6Ta^V d/JL(f)0- 

Tepcov ^ Kal KaTaXiiTij iv rjfiepa Kpiaecix; dirapai- 
TfjTOv eyKXyjfia. otl ov Bel Kaipov dva/xeveiv 
iirl TTJ eavTOV BiopdcocreL, Bid to /j,t) acrc^aXe? 
ex^t^ TTepl T>)? avpiov, otl ttoXXoI TroXXd fiovXev- 
ordfjLevoi ttjv aupiov ov KaTeXa^ov. otl ov Bel 
diraTaadai ')(^opTa<TLa KOiXia<;, Be* rj<; ylvovTat 
(pavTacTiai vvKTepivai. otl ov Bel irepicnraaOai 
€69 d/jieTpov ipyaaiav Kal virep^aiveiv tou? 6pov<; 
T/79 avTapK€La(;, KaTa tov diroGToXov elirovTa' 
"^yovTe<^ Be BiaTpo(f>d^ Kal aKeTrda/jiaTa, tovtoi<; 
dpKea6r)o-6/j,e6a' otl t) irepLacrela rj virep ttjv 
^(^peiav elKova TrXeove^la^ e/Kpalvei, rj Be irXeove^ia 
diro^aaiv €)(^ei elBcoXoXaTpela^;. otl ov Bel 



eir 



IC. 



^ SiacTTfi /xera^v ou^oTepcuJ/] /j.^TacrTTjaei u/xcpOTepovs C. 

138 



LETTER XXII 

fruits worthy of repentance.^ And he who lias been 
corrected for his first faults and has been thought 
worthy of forgiveness^ if he sins again, prepares for 
himself a judgment of anger worse than the first.^ 
And he who, after the first and second admonition/"^ 
abides by his shortcoming, should be disclosed to 
the one in authority,* if })erchance he may repent 
when admonished by more.^ If even so he is not 
set aright, he should be cut off from the rest as a 
cause for scandal, and should be regarded as a 
heathen and publican,^ for the sake of the safety 
of those zealous in obedience, according to the 
saying, "When the impious fall, the righteous 
tremble." "^ Yet all should mourn for him, as though 
a member has been cut off from the body. 

The sun should never set on a brother's wrath,^ 
lest some time night stand between both and leave 
an inevitable charge for the day of judgment. The 
Christian should not await an opportunity for his 
own reform,^ because the morrow is not secure, 
since many who have made many plans have not 
reached the morrow. He should not be deceived 
by the filling of his belly, for nightmares come from 
this. He should not busy himself with excessive 
work, and thus overstep the bounds of sufficiency, as 
the apostle says, " Having food and wherewith to be 
covered, with this we are content ;" ^^ because an 
abundance which goes beyond necessity gives an 

1 Luke 3. 8. 2 Heb. 10. 26-27. » Titus .3. 10. 

* Cf. Justin Martyr's description of the Christian service 
in Apol. Maj. 1. 

5 Titus 2. 8. « Matt. 18. 17. ' Pro v. 29. 16. 

8 Eph. 4. 26. » Matt. 24. 14 anJ Luke 12. 40. 

" 1 Tim. 6. 8. 

139 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

^tXdpyvpov elvai, ovSe Oyjaaupi^etv et? avw^ekrj 
a fir) het. on hei rov Trpoaep^ofxevov ©eo) aKTrj- 
fjboavvrjv aaird^eaOai Kara irdvra, Kal ■*■ KaOrfKw- 
fievov elvai tw (f)6^(p rod Seov, Kara rov elirovra' 
KaOtjXcocrov ifc rod (\>6j3ov crov ra^ adpKa^ jjlov' 
diTO 'yap Tcov KpifJidTWv aov €(j)0^)]dr]v. 

Aft)77 Be 6 Kupio? fjuerd Tracr?;? 7r\r)po(f)opia<; 
vfid^ dvaB6^a/JL6V0V<? rd elprj/xeva, eh ho^av %€0V 
Kapirov'^ d^LOv<; rod lLlve}j/jLaTo<i eirthei^aaOai, 
©eoO evSoKia Kal avvepyia rov Kvpcov i^fxcov 
^Irjaoi) Xptarov. ^Afirjv, 



XXIII 

liapaOercKT) tt^o? /xovd^ovra ^ 

'O Selva, ft)? \e<y€L, Kajayvov^ r?)? rov ^iov 
TOVTov fiaTaLorrjTO^ Kal Kara/xaOcov otl t?}? ^corj^ 
TauT>;? rd repirvd evravOa rrjv Karaarpocfirjv 
eyei, i/Xa? fjLOVov KaraaKevd^ovra to) alwviw irvpl 
Ta)(elav he e^ovra rrjv irdpoBov, KareXa^e fie, 
l3ov\6/Jievo(; diroaTrjvaL pev t?)9 fto^j^^r/pa? Kal 
TToXvarevdKTOv fo)?}?, KaraXiTrelv he rd^; Tr]<; 
aapKo<; i)hovd^, iireXOelv he Xoiirov rfj 6ha> rfj 
dyovaj] eVl ra? povd<i rov Kvpiov. iireiSi) ovv 
dvayKalov eariv, el (pvaet ev eiridvpiLa Kadear-qKe 
tt}? paKapia<; 6vt(o<; hiaycoyr]<^, Kal rov KaXov Kal 
e7Taivovp.evov epcora ea^^v ev rfj eavrov '^I'XV' 
dya'm]<ja<i Kvpiov rov Sebv rj/xcov c'f oXrji; Kaphia^, 

^ Koi Kara iravra C. 

^ TrapadeTiKT] aTroTa^afxeucf T(f $Lcp koX /jLOvdcauri F. 
140 



LETTER XXIII 

appearance of avarice, and avarice has the condem- 
nation of idolatry. 1 He should not be desirous of 
money/" nor treasure up unnecessary things to no 
avail. He who approaches God ought to embrace 
poverty in all things, and be pierced with the fear 
of God, according to him who said, " Pierce thou 
my flesh with tliy fear, for I am afraid of thy 
judgments." ^ 

Tlie Lord grant that you may receive all these 
admonitions with all assurance, and that you may 
exhibit fruits worthy of the Holy Spirit to the glory 
of God, with God's approval and the assistance of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 



LETTER XXIII 

An Admonition to a Monk * 

A certain man, who had come, as he said, to 
despise the vanity of this life and to realize that 
its joys have their consummation here, since they 
merely provide fuel for the eternal fire and pass 
quickly away, came to me and expressed a desire to 
depart from his miserable and lamentable life, to 
abandon the pleasures of the flesh, and to follow 
henceforth the path which leads to the mansions of 
the Lord. Now if he has really come to a desire for 
the truly blessed way of life, and has conceived in 
his soul that noble and praiseworthy affection, loving 
the Lord our God with his whole heart, with his 

1 Col. 3. 5. 2 ;^ja^.i^ 10 23-24 and Luke 18. 24. 

3 Psal. 119. 120. 

* Probably written at Caesarea, during his presbyterate. 

141 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kol e|^ 0X779 l(T-)(yo^, Koi i^ o\r)<; Biavoia<i,^ viroSeLX' 
drjvai avTw viro t^<? vfjL€Tepa<; Oeocreffeia^; ra 
hva')(^epr) kol hvadvrrjra Trj<^ aTevr]<; fcal reOXifi- 
fi6vri<; 680V, iv iXiriSt, Se avrov Karaa-TrjcraL ^ roiv 
vvv T€a)9 jjLT) pXeirojjLevwv, iv i7rayye\iai<; Se 
airoKeL/xevcov ^ ayaOcjv T0Z9 a^ioL<; tov K.vpLou. 

A/o * ypd(j)Ci)v TrapaKaXoo ttjv davy/cpirov vficov 
iv XpiCTTch ^ reXeioTTjra rvTraxrai, el olov re etr], 
KOL Sixa p^ov iroLrjcraL ti]v re ciTTorayr^v avTOV ^ 
Kara to dpecFKov ©60), koi aTOCX^eLcodrjvaL '^ avrov 
Kara ra ho^avra toi<; dyioL^ irarpdai kuI iyypd- 
(f)0)<; vir' avTcov ^ eKTeOevra' rjhr) he avrw TrpoTa- 
Orjvai ^ diravra oaa rfj aKpi/Seia hoKel rfj 
daKrjTLKrj, Kal ovt(o<; avrov 7rpo<Ta-)(6rjvaL rw /3tft), 
avOaiperw^ dvahe^dp^evov rov<^ virep rrj<^ evae^eia<^ 
dywva^, /cal virayayovra eavrov rSy '^pijarq) rev 
J^vpLOV ^vyw, Kal Kara piip.'qaLV rod Be i)pa<; 
rrrw'yevGavro'^ koi adpKa (^opeaavro^ iroXcrevad- 
pievov, Kal Kara ctkoitov Spa/iovra tt/jo? to jSpa- 
^elov rrj<^ dvco KX7]aeco<;, rv')(elv rrj<^ irapa rov 
K-vpiov diroSoxv^' 67ft) yap crirovBd^ovra avrov 
ivravOa Be^aaOaL rov rj]<; Kara (debv dyd'Trr]<; 
ar€(pavov virepeOepn^v}^ ^ovX6pLevo<^ p,erd rr]<; 
vp.erepa<; Oeoae/SeLa^; dXetyjrat avrov 7rpo<; rov<i 
roLovrov; ciOXov^, Kal eva ov av vp^cbv avro<; 
i7n^r]r7](Tr} iTTtarrjaat avrco dXelirrrjv, KaXa)<i 
TraiBorpi/Sovvra Kal rraXaLarijv BoKipiov direpya^- 
opLevov Bid T?)? avvrovov Kal pLaKapla^ eiripLe- 

^ Koi . . . Siavolas oni. E. ^ KaraaT^uai A, B, D, F. 

^ VTroKeifih'uv B. * 5ih oin. E. 

^ iv Xpi(TT(f om. C, D. ^ avTCf Ed. Ben. ; avrov MSS. 

' decf add. C, D. ^ vir' avTwy] avTo7s F. 

^ irpoTfdrjvai E. ^° virede/xriv C, D. 

142 



LETTER XXIII 

whole strengtli, and with his whole mind, it is 
incumbent upon your reverence to f^ive him an 
intimation of the diliiculties and hardships of the 
strait and narrow path^ and to establish him in 
the hope of the blessin<rs which are now for a time 
unseen, but which by })romise are stored up for 
those worthy of the Lord. 

Therefore I write to beg your incomparable per- 
fection in Christ to mould him, if that be possible, 
and without my help to bring about in him the 
renunciation of the world according to God's plea- 
sure, and that he be grounded in the precepts of the 
holy Fathers as set forth by them in writing. And 
I beg that there be laid before him straightway all 
such rules ^ as are approved by the strict ascetic 
discipline ; and that he be so introduced to the life, 
that by voluntarily taking up the struggles for piety, 
submitting himself to the excellent yoke of the 
Lord, conducting himself in imitation of Him who 
became poor- and endured flesh for our sake, and 
by running with an eye to the prize of his high 
calling, he may obtain acceptance with the Lord. 
For although he was eager to receive at this place 
the crown of God's love, I put him off, because I 
wished to anoint him for such contests by the help 
of your reverence, and to place over him as anointer 
that one of you for whom he himself may ask, one 
who would train him well and make of him, by his 
unremitting and blessed care, an approved wrestler, 

^ Among a number of works on the ascetic life which have 
been ascribed to Basil is a "Book of Ascetic Discipline" 
{'AaKTjTiKhs fii^Kos). This discourse is an exhortation to 
renunciation of the world, and contains also specific directions 
for the monastic life. Cf. Introd. p. xxxiii. 

« 2 Cor. 8. 9. 

143 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Xeta?, TLTpcoaKOPTa kuI Kara/SdWovra top 
Koa/uLOKpdropa rod crfc6T0v<; rod al(x)vo<^ ^ rovrov 
Kol rd TTvevfiaTLKa he r/)? irovy^pia^, irpo^; d rjfjitv 
earl /card rov /laKapiov diroaroXov 77 irdXr]. b 
Toivvv iyco fieO^ vfjLCOv r)l3ov\t]67)v Troirjcrai, rj iv 
y^pLdTw vfJLcov dydwyj Kal hi-)(^a fiov Troiijadro). 



XXIV 

^A6avaai(p rw irarpl 'AOavaaiov rod eTrtcrKOTrov 
'Ayfcvpa^ ^ 

"Ore fiev KpeiTTOva elvai Sta^oXcjv dvOpcoirov 
fiiop T(ov ')(^a\.e'TTWTdTOiv ecTTiv, Lva /jltj t6)v dhvvd- 
TO)v eliTco, aijr6<; re TreTreia/jLac kol ttjv arjv %/37;crTO- 
Ti]Ta vofjLi^o) /jLT] d[jL(^i^dWeLV. to [levroL /jirjSefilav 
irape^ei-v ef eavrojp \a/3r)v fjLijre roi^ dKpLffco<; 
iTrirrjpovai rd Trpdy/xuTa fMijre T0t9 Kar errrjpeiav 
i^ehpevovaiv ij/jlcov tol<; oXiadtj/jiaai, tovto ^ Kal 
hvvarov kol lSiov roiv auierco^ /cal Kard rov t>}9 

€lJ(T€/36la<; (TKOTTOV TOP €aVTO)V jSiOV SlG^ayOVTCOV. 

r)iJid<i 3e /jLt] oi/to)? evfCo\ov<^ o'lov firjhe evirap- 
aycoyov; elvai, ware dve^erdarcof; Td<; irapd rwz^ 
TV^ovToov TTpoaueaOaL KarappijaeL^. /xefMVTJfieOa 

^ Tov aluvos om. A, B, C, 1). 

^ 'AyKvpas om. A, B, K, F. 'Adavaalcp irarpl 'AOauaaiov tov 
iTTiaKowov OTi TO. kut' avTov Aex^eWa ave^eTaaTus oii irapabex^Tai 
Kal on Set to7s r4xvois irphs t^ <pvaiKfi /cat rrjp e'/c Trpoaip^aecci 
^niTiiveiv aydnr^v C. 

3 TOVTO 5^ C, D, F. 

144 



LETTER XXIV 

to wound and overthrow the universal lord of the 
darkness of this world and the spirits of iniquity, 
with whom accordin^r to the blessed apostle we have 
'' our wrestling." ^ What then I wished to do with 
vour help, let your love in Christ do without me. 



LETTER XXIV 

To Athanasius, father of Athanasius Bishop of 
Ancvra - 

I AM myself convinced, and I presume your 
excellency does not doubt, that for a man's life to 
be above slander is one of the most difficult things 
in the world, not to say an impossibility. Yet to 
offer of one's self no opportunity either to those 
who watch keenly over our doings or to those who 
spitefully lie in wait for one's lapses, is not only 
possible but is the special characteristic of all who 
conduct their living prudently and w4th an eye to 
piety. As for me, do not consider me so complaisant 
or so easily led astray as to accept without investiga- 
tion the disparagements of chance comers. For we 

1 Cf. Eph. 6. 12 : "For our wrestling is not against flesh 
and blood, but against principalities and powers, against 
the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits 
of wickedness in the high places." 

2 Written before Basil's episcopate, probably in 369. 
Nothing is known of this elder Athanasius, except what 
may be gathered from this letter. He had evidently been 
the object of some slanderous report concerning his treat- 
ment of his children, this report giving occasion for Basil's 
letter. 

145 
VOL. I. L 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

7ap rov TTvev/iariKou TrapayyeXfxaro'^ fxi] ^(^privai 
TTpodhkyeGOai aKoi)v fxaraiav irapeyyvcovTo^;. 

UXrjv aXX' iTreiSr} v/jLel<; avroL (f)ar6, olirepl tov<; 
\070f? iaTTovha/core^, ra cpaivofieva tow cK^avwv 
elvai a7]/jL€ta, rovro a^Lovuev (kuI fir] ^apecD<; 
Se^Tj, et Tt eV SiSa(7Ka\La<i etSei \e)(^9i]aeTaL irap^ 
rj/jLMP' TO, yap aaOevrj rov KOcrpLOV Kal ra i^ovOevrj- 
pLeva e^eXe^aro 6 ©eo?, Kal hi avroiv iroXXaKL^; 
oiKovopiei T-qv orcDTiipiav TOiv (T(o^o/jL6V(ov)' 6 ye 
fiyjv Xeyco Kal irapayyeXXoi eKelvo iarr Trdvra 
/jL€v Xoyov, iracrav he irpa^LV KaOi'jKOvaav irepi- 
€aK€p,pL6va)<; eTmeXelaOai' Kal Kara to airocnGXiKov 
irapdyyeXpLa, pajhepuiav iv puihevl hihovau irpoaKO- 
'7n]V. irpeirov yap elvai TlOep-at, dvhpo^ iroXXa 
pLev irrl pLadtjcreL ■'■ \6ycov ihpcoaavTO'^, iOvcov he 
Kal iToXe'jyv dp')(^d<; ht€vOvvavTO<;, Kal irpo^ pLeyaXrjv 
irpoyovoov dpeTrjv tov ^yjXov exovTO<;,^ tov /Slop 
TrpoKelaOai eU vTrohetypLa dpeTi]<;. 

Trjv puevTOL irepl tci TeKva hidOeaiv ov^l Xoyo) 
vvv o^elXei^ heiKvvvat, 09 ye ^ TrdXat ehei^a^i d(f)' 
01) TraTTjp eyevov, ou puovov ttj (pvaLKrj aTopyfj 
Kexpf}pLevo<;y rjv Kal to, ciXoya Trapex^rac toU 
€Ky6vot^, o)? auTo? re elira*; ^ Kal t) irelpa heiKvv- 
aiv dXXa Kal eTTLTeiveiv ti]v dydirrjv, hrjXovoTi 

IxaO-qfiaai E. ^ (txoptos E. 



1 Ex. 23. 1. 

^ Cf. 1 Cor. 1. 27-28 : dA\a to. ^upz rov K6cr/xov e^eXe^uTO 
d Qsos, 'iva rovs (To<pous Karai(TX^^V' '^°-'- ''"" o.(T6ivr\ rov kSc/jlov 
€|fAe|aTO 6 &e6s, 'iva icaraicrx^^'V '''" lo'X^P^^' 'f**' '''°- o.y^t'V tov 
Koafiov Ktt) TO iqov6ev7)jxeva i^eKe^aro 6 @e6s, Kal ra /ir; byra, 

146 



LETTER XXIV 

are mindful of the spiritual injunction that \ve 
should not "receive the voice of a lie."^ 

However, since you yourself, who are devoted to 
letters, declare that thint^s visible are tokens of the 
invisible, we deem it right to assert (and do not take 
it ill, if anything I may say shall take the form of 
instruction ; for God has chosen the weak things 
of the world and the things which are contemptible, 
and through them often works the salvation of those 
that are saved ^) — now what I assert and advise is 
this : that we fulfil with circumspection every word 
and every deed that devolves upon us, and, according 
to the apostle's precept, that we give no offence to 
any man.^ For if a man has sweated much for the 
learning of letters, if he has directed the govern- 
ment of nations and cities, and if he emulates the 
great virtue of his forefathers, I consider it right and 
proper that his life be placed before us as an example 
of virtue. 

However, as regards your disposition towards your 
children, you need not now give evidence of it 
merely by word, since you have long given such 
evidence of it, ever since, in fact, you became a 
father, for you have, as you yourself have stated and 
given proof, exhibited something more than that 
natural affection which even irrational creatures give 
to their offspring ; but you should also intensify 

'iva TO ovra Karapyqa-T]. " But the foolish things of the world 
hath God chosen, tliat He may confound the wise, and the 
weak things of the world hath God cliosen, that He may 
confound the strong. And the base things of the world, and 
the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and 
things that are not, that He may bring to nought things 
that are." 

3 Cf. 2 Cor. 6. 3. 

147 
l2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

€K 7Tpoaipea€a)<;, 6au> opa<=; TOiavra ovra ola d^ia 
elvai TrarpiKcbv 7Tpoaev)(^Mv. coare ov)( r)fjid<; Sec 
Trepl TOVTcov ireiOecrOai, apKOvaa yap rj ef avTMV 
rcov jLvo/jLevcov earl /laprupia. 

'EKetvo ye /jurjv ovk a/catpov irpoaOelvai tP]<; 
d\rj9eia<; eveKev, otl ou% o aBeXcfio^ lipLoOeo^i 
ear IV 6 "X^oopeiriaKOiro'^ 6 aveveyKcbv r]pLlv to, Opvk- 
yilOevra. ovre yap iv (jvvTV')(ia ovre Bia ypdfi- 
/zaro? (paiveraL /iiKpov ri rj piel^ov Sia/SoXrj^ 
exofievov Trepl aov (pd€y^d/j,evo<;. coare aKijKoevai 
fiev TL OVK dpvovfJLeda, ov /juyv Tc/jLoOeov elvat rov 
Td<; 8ca^o\d<; aoi /caraaKevd^ovra. aKovovre^ 
Se 7rdvr(o<;, el /jlj] tl dWo, to yovv rov WXe^dvhpov 
TTOLrjao/jiev, ti^v erepav tmv aKoOiv dfcepalav 
Ta/j,i€va6/xeOa ^ tw Sia^aWofievq). 



XXV 

*AOavaaL(p eiTLaKOTTw ^AyKvpa<; ^ 

AjnjyyeLXdv pol tlv€<; tcov etc tt}? AyKvpa<; 
TT/oo? r)fid<; dcfyiKO/xevcov, ttoWoI 8e ovtol Kal^ ovhe 
dpiO/jLy]aaL pdhiov, avfi(f)cova Se Trdvre^ (j^Oeyyo- 
fxevoL, diy Tr)v <^iX,r}v Ke(f)a\rjv (ttw? av 6L'(^?;/xw9 
eiTTOLfxi ;) ov')(^ co? ijSLara ixefivrjaOai rjjjLMV, ovSe 
Kara * rov aeavrov rpoirov. epue Be ovBev 

^ TaixLiv6jx^Qa A, B, F. 

~ 'Adavaaicf 'AyKvpas ware (payepuaai avrc^i irodeu (Kivrjdr] irphs 

T7/I' KOT' aVTOV KV1T1]V C. 

3 00s add. A, B, C, D, F. -» Kara om. C, D, F. 

^ Cf. Plutarch's Life of Alexander. 
148 



LETTER XXV 

your love, deliberately, of course, in proportion as 
you see that they are wortliy of a father's prayers. 
Accordingly we do not need to be convinced about 
these things, for the evidence of the facts themselves 
is sufficient. 

It is not out of place, however, for tlie sake of 
truth to add this : it is not our brother Timotheus, 
the Coadjutor Bishop, who brought us these reports. 
For neither in conversation nor in correspondence 
has he been found uttering anything great or small 
about you which contained any slander. Hence, 
while we do not deny that we have heard something, 
yet it was not Timotheus who got up these slanders 
against you. But though we do certainly hear them, 
whatever else we do, we shall at any rate follow the 
example of Alexander, and keep one ear untainted 
for the accused.^ 



LETTER XXV 

To Athanasius, Bishop of Axcyra^ 

Some of those who come to us from Ancyra — and 
these are many and more than I can count, but all 
agree in what they say — have told me that you, 
my dear friend, have made mention of me (how may 
I say it without offence ?) in no very pleasant terms 
nor in your usual manner. So far as I am concerned, 

2 Like the previous letter, written before his episcopate, 
probably in 369. Cf. Diekamp, Bijzant. Zeitschr. 18, 1909, 
3 f. This Athanasius was appointed to the see of Ancyra 
through the influence of Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea, a 
leader of the Homooeans. However, he himself acquired a 
reputation for orthodoxy. Cf. Greg. Nj'ss. Contra Eunnni. 1. 
11, 292. Basil speaks highly of him in Letter XXIX. 

149 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

eKirXrjcraei tmv avOpcdirivwv, ev ia6i, ovBe airpoa- 
hoKTjTO'^ iariv ovS€vo<; rcov irdvTcov jiera^oki], 
TTciXaL TO T?}? (f>v(7eco<; aa66V€<; koli to evirepLTpeir- 
Tov 7rpo<; TO, ivavTia KaTafiadovTa. 66ev ovt et 
Tt Tcoz^ r)fji€Tepcov /jLeTaireTTTCoKe, koI etc ttj^; 
TTpoTepov Ti/ir]<; \oi8op[aL koX v/3p€i<; irepl r)/jLd<; 
vvv ylvovTaL,^ /jueya tovto TTOiovfiaL. aW eKelvo 
fjLOL ^ irapdho^ov co? dXrjdCi^; Kal v7rep(j)V€<; i(f)dvr], 
TO ae elvai tov ovtw 7r/3o? rj/JLU'^ exovTU, cocrTC 
6pyi^€a6at, tj/jlIv koI 'X^aXeiTaiveiv, ijSr] Be tl Kal 
direCkelv, o)? o twv a/covacivTcov X0709. 

Tcov fiev ovv^ aTretXcov Kal irdw (elprjaeTai, yap 
Td\T]de<;) KUTeyeXao-a. rj KOfJuhf) 7' av 7raL<; e'Lrjv,^ 
TO, TOiavTa fjLopiJLo\vKeia hehoLKd><^.^ eKelvo Se fxoi 
Kal (j)o^€pov Kal 7roXX% (^povTiho<; d^cov ^ eSo^e, 
to Ti-jv ai]v uKpL^Seiav, i)v ev oXiyoi^ epeia/id t€ 
opdoTijTO';, Kal T/}? dp-)(aia<i Kal d\r)div7]<; dydirr]^ 
airep/jLa eh irapafjuvOiav Tah eKKXrfcriaL^ aco^eaOai 
ireiriaTevKaixev,'^ iirl ToaovTOV ^ r?}? 7rapova-r}<; 
KaTaGTdaect)<; iJLeTaa-)(elv, wcrre to,'^ Trapd tmv 
TV-^ovTCJv fiXaa(f)r]pLLa<; Kvpia)Tepa<; Troi/jaaaOai 
TJj? /iaKpd<; rjfjLcbv 7r€Lpa<;, Kal tt/oo? ttjv toov 
aToiTwv hiTovoiav yjijipl'^ dirohel^ewv^ inra')(6r}vai. 
KaiTOL ^^ TL Xeyco vTrovoiav ; 6 yap dyavaKTi]aa<i 
Kal hia7Tei\')jO€i<;, W9 (paacv, ov)( vttovoovvto^;, 
dWci TOV rjhr] aa^o)'^ Kal dvavTLpp7jT0)<; ireLaOevTO^ 
hoKel TTO)? opyrjv evhehelx^ai. 

'AXV, oirep ^^ e(l)r)v, iirl tov Kaipov tovtov ^^ 

1 eyfivovrai E. ^ tt]v irpwrriv add. C, T>, F. 

^ Twv pXv oZv\ rb juer oZv twv E. * TraKrlv ^p E. 

^ 5(doLK6<Tiv E. ^ 6.^iov om. E. 

' TreTrKTrevKaiiuLev F ; TreTriaTevKeifxiV C, D. ® TOffovr^ E. 

3 atiroSeriewy E. i° Ka\ E. " Sxrirep A, B. 



LETTER XXV 

however, nothing in Iiuman affairs astonislies me, 
rest assured, and a change of mind on the part of 
any man in the world would not be unexpected, 
since I have long since learned the weakness of 
human nature and its liability to move around to 
the opposite. Therefore I consider it of no great 
consequence if any change has taken place in my 
relations, and if, instead of respect as aforetime, 
abuse and insult are now our portion. This, how- 
ever, strikes me as truly incredible and monstrous, 
that you should be the person so disposed towards 
us as to be angry and bitter, indeed going so far 
now as to utter threats, as they say who have heard. 
Now so far as the threats are concerned, I utterly 
— for the truth must be told — laugh them to scorn. 
Indeed 1 should be a mere child to be terrified at 
such bugbears. However, that a man of your 
acumen, whom we have believed to be preserved as 
one among few for the consolation of the churches, 
as a bulwark of the true faith and a. seed of the 
original and true love — that you should so far share 
the existing state of feeling, as to place more weight 
upon blasphemies of men of no account than on 
your long experience of us, and are thus led to 
suspect the truth of outlandish tales without proof, 
this to us seems ground for both fear and serious 
anxiety. Yet why do 1 say "suspect"? For the 
man who has become indignant and has uttered 
violent threats, as they say, seems somehow to have 
displayed the wrath, not of a person who suspects, 
but of one who has already been clearly and unde- 
niably convinced. 



151 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

dva(j)€po/i€v TTjv alriav. eirel iroaov irovov r/v, w 
Oavfjidcne, iv iina-ToXfj /S/?a%eta Trepl mv i/SovXov 
olovel fxovov jjLOvcp BiaXex^V^cir rj, el /ir) eiriaTev€<^ 
ypa(f)fj rd roLavra, 7rpo<; eavrov^ fieTaTrefMyfraaOat; 
el Se 7rdvTco<; i^etTrecv eSei, kul dva/SoXfj ^ Kaipov 
ovK eSlSov TO BvaKadefCTOv rrj? opyi]';, aXV evu ye 
TLVi Twv iiTLTi-]Beio)v Kol ajiyeiv drropprjTa 
TrecpVKOTcov, e^yv Si] ttov to^v Trpo? ?;/Lta? Xoycov 
')(py](7aadaL StaKovw. vvvl he Tivo<; ovxc irepLre- 
OpvXkrjTai rd o)Ta tmv KaO' oTroiavBijirore ^petai^ 
vjjLCv^ e7ri(f)otTci)VTa)v, o)? r)fia)v dra^ TLvd^ ypa(f)6v- 
T(ov Koi ^ avyypa(f)6vTCi)v ; ^ tovtw yap cre 
Kexpl(^Oai (paai tw pijpari, ol eirl Xe^eo)? rd ad 
hii-jyoviievoL. ep,e he eirl iroXkd rrjv Sidvoiav 
dyayovTa ^ rrjv e/xavrov, ovhev tl pdWov t?}? 
d/jL7]')(^avia<; d(pL7](7iv. 

"tlare fie kuI tolovtov tl elarjkOe''^ /xi] rt? tcov 
alpeTLKCov KUKOvpyco^; T0t9 eavrov avyypdfXfiaaL 
TO e/jLov ovdfia Trapaypdyfra^,^ eXvirrjae aov rrjv 
opOoTijTa Kal eKebVTjv dcpecvac ttjv (ficovrjv irpo- 
i-jydyeTO. ov yap Sr) to2<; yey pa/jLfievoc^ v(f)^ rjfiwv 

77/309 TOU? dvOflOlOV KCLT OVGiaV T o\p.i]G avT a<^ 

elirelv tov Tlov Kal @eov to) Sew Kal Harpl, rj 
TT/DO? T0v<; KTLap,a Kal rroir^ixa elvai to YlvevfJia to 
dyiov /3\aa(j)rjfjL7](7avTa(;, TavTrjv dv eireveyKelv 
TTJV XoiSopLav T^vea^ou 6 tov<; /jueydXov; dOXov^ 
€Keivov(i Kal irepi^orjTov^ virep Trj<; opdoho^ia^ 
hieveyKoov. \vaaL<^ 3' av rj/jiTv tt^v dp,riy^av[av 

^ creauT^v A, B, C, D. ^ t] ava^oXr] A, B ; ava^oXrjs F. 

^ Tj/j.'iu F. ^ T^ A. 

^ Kal (Tuyypa(p6vT(M}u oin, K. ^ auayayoura C, D, 

' fl(TrjA9e om. E. ^ irapeyypa\pas B, D. 



LETTER XXV^ 

But, as I said, I attribute the cause of your out- 
break to these present times. Otherwise, how much 
trouble would it have been, my dear sir, for you to 
have discussed with me any question you pleased in 
a brief letter, as though alone with me ; or, if you 
would not entrust such matters to writing, to have 
summoned me to your presence ? But if you were 
constrained by all means to speak out, and your 
uncontrollable temper would allow you no time for 
delay, still it would have been possible, I presume, 
to employ one of those who are close to you and 
capable of keeping secrets as an agent of communica- 
tion with us. But as it is, who is there, of those 
who visit you on any errand whatsoever, in whose 
ears it has not been dinned that we write and 
compose '^^ pestiferous things?" For this is the 
expression which those who quote you word for 
word declared that you used. But though I have 
considered the matter earnestly, my mind neverthe- 
less offers me no relief from my perplexity. 

Consequently, some such thought as this has come 
to me, that perhaps some heretic maliciously sub- 
scribed my name to his own writings, and thus 
grieved your orthodoxy and enticed you to say those 
words ? For surely you, who have borne those great 
and far-ftimed struggles on behalf of orthodoxy, 
could never have endured to bring this slander upon 
the works ^ which we have composed, against those 
who dare say that the Son and God are unlike in 
substance to the God and Father, or against those 
who blasphemously assert that the Holy Spirit is a 
thing created and made. You would yourself relieve 

^ For Basil's dogmatic works, cf. Introd. p. xxxiii. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ai^TO?, el ideX7jaeia<; ra KLvi^cravrci ae 7rpo<; ti-jv 
KaO^ 7]/jlcov XvTTijv (pav€pco<; i^ayyelXai. 



XXVI ' 

K.aL(Tapia) rw aSeX^w Tpyjyopiov.^ 

^dpL<; Tw 0e&), T(p TO, eavrov davfidata /cal ev ^ 
(jol imSei^a/jLivq),^ Koi iic roaovrov Oavdrov 
SiaacioaavTL ae, rfj re TraTpihi Kal r^filv rot? 
TTpoai'-jKovcTL. XeiTTeTat Srj ovv fir) d')(^apL(nov<; 
rjfid<; 6(f)dr)vaL firjh' dva^iov^ rfi<; TOcrauT?;? 
evepyeaLa<;, dWd Kara hvvafiLV ttjv r}/i€Tepav 
BiayyeWeiv rod ©eoO rd irapdho^a, koI rj<^ epyw 
7r€7retpdfie6a (fnXavOpcoTrla^, ravrrjv dvvfivelv, Kal 
/ir) Xoycp piovov diroZihovat rrjv ')(^dpiv, dXXd Kal 
epycp TOLovTOv yeveaOai, olov Kal vvv elvai ireiOo- 
pieOa, TeKpLaipopLevoi roi<; irepi ae davp,aai. 

Kal €TL pLet^ovo)^ ro) Sew SovXevecv irapaKaXov- 
fjbev, 7rpoa6y]Kat<; del rbv ^o^ov avvav^ovra Kal 
ei? TO reXeiov ^ irpoKoiTTOVTa, 'Iva cppovipLOt 
OLKOvopoL tT;? fft)>79 7)pcov diToheLxOoypLev y eh yjv 
7;/ia9 >; dyaOorri'^ rod (deov irapLievaaro. el yap 
Kal iraaiv i^pilv irpoaraypbd eari Trapaarijaat 
eavTov^; rw 0e&), ooael eK veKpayv ^covra^;, ttw? ov)(l 
fidXXov TOi? vy\r(jd6elaLv eK rwv ttvXmv rod 
Oavdrov ; rovro 8' av pLdXiara, (w? epuavTov 

^ T(f dSeX^y Tpriyopiov om. A, B, C, D ; Kat<rapi(^ dSeA.^^ 
Tprjyopiov tov 6eo\6yov ^aai\eLos F. 
2 iu om. A, B, C, D. 3 iTnZ^iKvvfi4v<f A, B, C, D. 

* del add. E, r. 

154 



LETTER XXVI 

us of tliis perplexity, if you should be willing to 
proclaim openly what things have stirred you to be 
so offended with us. 



LETTER XXVI 
To CaesariuSj the brother of Gregory ^ 

Thanks be to God, who has shown His wonders 
even in your person, and has preserved you from 
such a death, for your fatherland and for us your 
relations. So therefore it remains for us not to be 
seen ungrateful or unworthy of such a benefaction. 
Rather we ought with all our strength to herald the 
wonders of God and to celebrate that kindness 
which in very deed we have experienced, and not in 
word alone to render thanks, but also in deed to 
prove ourselves such as we believe we already are, 
judging by the miracles wrought in your case. 

We urge you to be an even better servant of God, 
ever more and more increasing your fear of Him, 
and advancing to perfection, to the end that we may 
prove ourselves wise stewards of the life for which 
the goodness of God has spared us. For if we all 
are commanded to present ourselves to God, as 
those that are alive from the dead,^ how much the 
more are they so commanded who have been lifted 
from the very gates of death } This command can 

^ This letter, written in 368, is addressed to the youngest 
brother of Gregory Nazianzenus. The work Uva-rets or 
Quaestiones de Rebus Divinis is attributed to him with grave 
doubt. The occasion for this letter is the narrow escape 
from death which Caesarius experienced during an earth- 
quake on the tenth of October, 368, Shortly after receiving 
this letter, he retired from the world. 

» Rom. 6. 13. 

155 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

• 

TTelOco, KaTOpOcodelrj, el ^ovkrjOeit-ifiev ael rifv 
avrrjv exeiv Sidvoiav, fjv etx^f^^^ '^ ^'^'^ '^^^ Kaipov 
TMV KLvhvvwv. irdvTW^ yap ttov elcrrjei rj/xa^ rov 
^lov TO /jbdraiov, Kal co? ovBev itlcftov tcov 
dvOpcoTTiVCOv, ovre ^ Trdyiov, ovtco paSi(o<; exovrwv 
Td<; /jLeraTTTooo'ei';. Kal ttov Ti<i /xerafxeXcLa fxev €k 
T€ TOiv euKOTcov ivsyiveTO i)pZv, iirl rot? (^Odaaaiv 
L/TToo-^ecTi? ^ he irepl twp ec^ef >}?, el TrepiacoOelrj/jLev, 
©ecG SovXeveiv ^ Kal eavrcov eTTL/jLeXeaOai ^ Kara 
irdaav aKpi^eiav. el ydp riva rj/jLLV evvoiav 6 rov 
Oavdrou klvSvvo<; iiriKeL/jLevo^ iveSlSov, olfxai ae 
rj ravra i) iyyvraTa ^ rovrcov dvaXoyi^eaO ai 
rrjviKavTa. 

"HcTTe dvayKaiov ocfyXTj/xaro'^ eKTiaei virevOvvot 
Ka6e(Tjt]KafJiev. ravra o/jlou fiev 7repLxapT]<; cov rfj 
Tov ©eoO Bcopea, ofxov he Kal (ppovriha eyj£)V irepl *" 
TOiv pieWovTwv, d7reOdp(Ti](Ta vTrofxvrjaai rr)v 
reXeioTTjrd aov. aov he eariv €v/jLev(b<; Kal rj/jiepax; 
irpoaeaOai rj/jLciyv tov<; \070f9, &)? Kal ev Tat<; Kar 
6(f)6a\p,ov<; ofJLiXlaL^ crol rjv ^ crvvrj0e<;. 



XXVII 

^vae^ifp eiTLGKOiTw Xap^oadrcov 

'Ore rfj rod Seov x^pLTU Kal rfj /3or]0ela tmv 
awv irpocrevxo^v puKpov dva^epeiv eK rf]^ dppccxJTia^ 
1 rxo^€j/ C, D, E. 2 0^5^ E^ Y. 

^ yTTOfTxeVeis B, D. * SovAevaeiv F. 

^ iwi/xeXeaeadai E, F. ^ iyyvraTC}) B. 

' virep C, D, 8 ^qI ^j, om^ Q^ D, 

^ Written in the spring of 368; cf. Schafer, p. 34. This 

■ 56 



LETTER XXVII 

best be fulfilled^ I am convinced, if we resolve 
always to preserve the same attitude of mind that 
we had at the moment of our perils. For assuredly 
we were reminded of the vanity of life, and also that 
there is nothing trustworthy or fixed and solid in 
human affairs, seeing that they so readily admit of 
change. And no doubt there arose in us, probably, 
in the first place, a feeling of repentance for the 
past, and then a promise regarding the future, that, 
if we should survive, we should serve God and be 
mindful of ourselves with all strictness. For if the 
imminent danger of death suggested any subject for 
our reflection, I believe you bethought yourself of 
this or something very much like it, at that time. 

Accordingly we stand responsible for the payment 
of a binding debt. I have made bold to remind 
your perfection of this obligation because I am at 
once overjoyed at God's gift and solicitous con- 
cerning the future. It is yours to receive our words 
graciously and calmly, as was your wont when we 
conversed together eve to eve. 



LETTER XXVII 

To EusEBius, Bishop of Samosata ^ 

When by God's grace and the aid of your prayers 
I seemed to be recovering a little from my illness 

letter is of no particular interest except as containing one of 
the many complaints expressed by Basil against the ill-health 
M-hich followed him through life. It is the first of the 
twenty-two letters addressed by Basil to Eusebius, Bishop 
of Samosata (about 260 miles from Caesarea), from 360 to 
373. Cf. Theodoret, Ecc, Hist. iv. 15, and v. 4. 

'57 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

eho^a Ka\ aveKe^ap.i)v ifiavrov ras bwajxei^, rore 
6 ')(^€L/jLcov iTreyivero, ol'fcoc KaOeLpycov r}fjia<; Kai 
Kara X^P^^ /jL6V€lv (TwavayKci^cov. el yap koI 
TToWo) Kov(f)6Tepo^ Ti)^ (TVV')j9eLa<i airr^vniaev, 
uX\! ovv epiOLye LKavo<; et? ipLTToSiov, ov^ 07rco<; 
oSoLTTopetp Si^ auTov,^ aXX* ovSe piKpov irpo- 
KV7TT6LV Tou BcojiiaTLOV hvvaaOat. 

"EtdTL he pLOi ovhe tovto pLiKpov, to Kar- 
a^LOvaOai Bca ypapLpbdrcov opLiXelv rfj Oeoae/Seia 
aov, fcal rf) eXirlhi tcov avnhoaecov ijSt] irpoava- 
iraveaOaL. el he koI 6 Kaipo^ ivSoli], koI t?}? 
^(Dr}<i ■)]filv en Xeiiroiro ^^poi^^?, fcal p^r] airopov 
lyxlv Tr]v ohov 6 Xf/AO? airepydaaiTO, ra^v av 
TvxoLpiev T% eiTLOvpLia'; Blo, tojv awv Trpoa-evxcov 
Kal eirl Tr)<; ecrrta? ae KaTa\a^6vTe<; Kara iraaav 
axoXrjv Tcov pLeydXcov drjaavpoov t% iv aol ao(j>La<; 
epL(f)0pT]6eL'r]piev. 

XXVIII 

Tf] eKK\iiaia 'NeoKaLaapeia^ TrapapLvdrjrtKi] 

'ATTT/rei pLev rd avpu^avra rr]v rjpLcov avrcov 
irapovaiav, rod re ti]v TLptyjp rw fiaKaplcp TOi? 
olKeiOTdroL^ vpuv avvefcirXyjpwaai, koI tov t% 
eirl Tw TrdOei KaTr/(f)eLa<^ air ^ avTr]<; r?)? Oea<; 
Tcov aKvOpwirorepcov avpLperacrxelv, Kal coare 
Tcov dvayKcdcov ^ovXevpLdrcov vpuv KOLvcovfjaac. 
iirel he rrjv acopLari/cijp avvd(f)eiav iroWa ra 
1 i^auTod A, B, C, D, E. 2 ^v E, F. 

^ Written in the spring of 368 ; cf. Schaefer loc. cit. This 
letter is conjectured to be on the death of ^Jusonius, Bishop 

158 



LETTER XXVIII 

and had regained my strength, then winter came on, 
shutting us up at home and forcing us to remain 
where we were. For even if this winter were mucli 
milder than usual, nevertheless it would be severe 
enough to keep me, not only from travelling, but 
from being able to put my head even for a moment 
outside my chamber. 

However, it is no slight privilege to be permitted 
to converse with your reverence by letter, and to 
rest at ease meanwhile in the hope of your reply. 
Yet should the opportunity arise, and should a period 
of life still be in store for us, and should the famine 
not render our journey impossible, with the help of 
your prayers we may soon obtain our desire ; and 
finding you at your fireside we may in all leisure be 
filled with the great treasures of your wisdom. 



LETTER XXVIII 

To THE Church of Neocaesarea, consolatory ^ 

That which has befallen you called for our pre- 
sence, that we might both join with you, our dearly 
beloved friends, in doing honour to the blessed dead, 
and share, through the very act of gazing upon your 
sorrowing countenances, the dejection caused by 
your calamity, and also that we might participate 
in making the necessary plans for you. But since 
many causes prevented my being w ith you in person, 

of Neocaesarea. In Letter CCX, addressed to the notables 
of Neocaesarea, Basil speaks of " the blessed Musonius, 
whose teaching still rings in your ears." 

'59 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SALXT BASIL 

SiaKcoXvopra, XetTTo/ievop rjv 8ia rov ypd/jL/jLaTO<i 

KOiVWVelv Vfllv TO)V TvapovTwv. 

Ta fxev ovv rov avhpo<^ 6av[iaTa, ecj)' ol? Kal 
fiaXicrra ttjv ^rjfxiav i)fxiv ac^oprjrov VTrdpx^iv 
Xoyt^o/jLcda,^ ovt av e7ncrTo\rj<^ fierpov virohe^- 
aiTo, Kal dX\co<; dcopov avSpayaOij/jLarcov 7r\i]0et 
rov \6yov irpoadyeiv,^ ovrco avfi7T67rT(OKVLa<; ri]^ 
'^v)(^f]<; 7)/jlcov eirl rfj Xvirr). tl yap ro)v ifceivov 
TOLOVTOV, olov Tj T>}? pLV7]/jL7]<; Tj/jLMv i/CTTeaelv rj 
(TLcoTTaaOaL d^Lov vofiiaOPjvai ; iravra jxev yap 
d9poco<; eladira^ elirelv dfi/]')(^avov, to Se Ik /xipov; 
Xeyeiv, heooLKa jult] irpooocjiav e^D t>}? d\i]deLa<;. 
oXyejai dvi-jp Siacpavearara Si] tmv Kad' eavrov 
nrdaLV OfjLOv rol^ dvOpooTrivoi^^ virepeveyKcov^ 
dya6ol<;, epeca/ia 7rarplSo<;, iKK\i]aLwv K6a/jL0<;, 
(TTvXof; Kal khpaicofMa tT;? dX-qOeia^, arepioy/jLa 
ry]<i et? ^piarov iricjTeco';, OLKeioL^ dacfidXeta, 
Svafiaxd)TaTo<; roc^i v7revavTioL<;, (f)vXa^ TraTpwwv 
6ea[Ji(x)v, ve(DTepoiToda<^ e')(^dp6<^' iv eavrw SeiKvv^; 
TO TraXaiov rf]<; 'EKKXycria'i a')(^Pjp.a, olov diro tlpo<; 
lepOTrpeiTOv^ €Ik6vo<;, Tf}<; dp)(aLa<; KaraaTaaew^, 
TO eZ8o9 T>)? l'tt' avTov eKKXi^aia^; Sta/jLopcjicov, 
ware toi'9 avrw (Tvyyevo/jL€vov<; tol<; irpo Si,a- 
Koalwv irojv Kal iireKeiva cfxoaTtjpcov rpoTTOv 
€KXdfi\jraac Gvyyeyovkvai SoKetv. 

OuTO)? ovSev oiKoOev ovSe vewrepa^ (f)pevo<; 
evprifia irpoicpepev 6 dvr)p, dXXd, Kara ttjv 
Xlcova6co<; ^ evXoylav, rjSeL irpoKOpLL^eLV Ik to)v 
dhvrayv rr/^ KapSia<; avrov dyaOoov^ 6r)aavpMv 

1 \oyi(€crdai editi ; \oyi(6fx^da A, B, C, U, F. 
^ irpodynv A, B. ^ avOpwirois B. * vnei'eyKwv B, E. 

1 60 



LETTER XXVI 11 

the only recourse left me was to share your present 
troubles by letter. 

Now this man's wonderful qualities, which more 
than all else cause us to judge his loss unendurable, 
cannot be contained within the compass of a letter, 
and besides it would be untimely now, when our 
souls are so prostrate with grief, to undertake to 
enumerate his many noble achievements. For which 
of his deeds is such as either to slip from our 
memory or to be deemed worthy of silence .^ To 
recount them all together were impossible, yet to 
mention a portion would, I fear, be disloyal to the 
truth. A man has passed away who was quite 
manifestly far superior to his contemporaries in the 
sum total of human virtues ; a bulwark of his native 
land, an ornament of the churches, a pillar and 
foundation of the truth, a firm support of the faith of 
Christ, a steadfast helper for his friends, a most 
formidable foe for his enemies, a guardian of the 
ordinances of the Fathers, an enemy of innovation ; 
in his own person he showed forth the ancient 
character of the Church, so moulding on the model 
of the early organization, as after a sacred image, 
the form of the church under his charge, that those 
who were of his society seemed to live in the society 
of those who shone like stars two hundred years and 
more ago. 

Thus it was that our friend produced nothing of 
his own, no discovery of modern thought, but, in 
accordance with the Lord's blessing of Moses, he knew 
how to bring forth out of the hidden and goodly 
treasures of his heart ^' the oldest of the old store, 

^ Mit'(rea>s A, B, C, D, F. '^ ayadwi' oni. E. 

i6i 

VOL. I. M 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TToXaia TTokaLOJV Kal iraXaia airo irpoaayirov 
vecov. ravTT} roc Kal r^)? Trpori/jLijaeco'; ov Kara 
rrjv rjXLKiav iv toI<; (TvW6yoL<; rcov 6/ioti/jLcov 
y^LOVTO, aXV vTrep 7ravTa<; yv tco tT;? ao(f)La<; 
ap)(al(p, CK KOivrj'^ avy^^copijaeco^; to TTpcoTelov 
KapirovfJLevo^. 6a ov Se r?}? T0Lavr7]<; dycoyrjf; to 
KepBo^ ovSeU av eTTL^rjrrjaete, Trpo? u/xa? airo- 
PXeiTcov. fjLovoi yap a)v tcrfiev, rj KOfMtSfj ye 
iv ^ 6XiyoL<;, iv ')(^6i/jLa)VL roaovTW Kal XaiXaiTL 
Trpay/Jbdrayv aKv/juavTov ttj iKeivov Kv^epv/jaec ttjv 
^(OT]v SLTjydyere. ov yap ijyjraTO v/jLojv alperiKoyv 
Trvev/idrcov ^dXr], KaraTTovTia fxov<^ iirdyovaa Kal 
vavdyia ral^ evTrepirpeTrroL^; 'v|^f;^at9. pLTJre Se 
dyjraLTO Trore, w Aeairora rcov djrdvTcov, 09 rw ao) 
OepdiTOVTL TprjyopLO), tm i^ ^PX^l'^ TTJj^a/jLevw rrjv 
Kpt^irlha tPj<; "'V^KKXrjcrla'i, Tr}<^ iirl [ii]kl(Jtov dra- 
pa^ia<; ^ Trjv X^P^^ eSw/ca?. 

''Hi^ fir) 7rpo8(OT€ vfjL€L<; iv rdp irapovn Kaipw' 
fX7)8e 6py]v(ov dp^erpla, Kal tJ) e/cSoTOL'9 eavrov^; 
Tol'; XvTTr]pol<; iroirjaai, tou? t6)v dvayKaiwv 
Kaipov<i T0t9 icpeSpevovac irpoyjcrde. dXX^ el Bel 
7rdvT(o<; Oprjvelv {oyairep ovv ov ^ <^>;yLtt, Iva fir] 
ofioLcoOoj/jLev iv rouro) toI<; pur) exovcriv iXirlSa), 
v/jLeL<; Se, el SoKel, olov Ti9 XO/?o? 7revOrjpT)<; rbv 
Kopv(f)alov eavToJv irpoaTrjadpLevoL, ipLpbeXiarepov 
pier iKeivov to avpu^dv dTroKXavaare. 

Kalroiye el Kal /x?) eV ia^drov yijpo)^ ^ 

^ avv C, D, F. ^ aTa|tas B. 

3 oH om. A, B, C, D. * yhpovs B, C, D. 

162 



LETTER XXVIII 

and the old in place of the new coming on." ^ 
Therefore he was thought worthy of precedence at 
the synods of his peers, not in accordance with his age 
in years ; but he was })laced above them all by reason 
of the age of his wisdom, and by common consent 
enjoyed the primacy among them. How great was 
the gain of such guidance no one would question, it 
he but looked upon you. For you alone of all 1 know, 
or at least you among a very few, have been able, amid 
this great storm and tempest of affairs, to pass your 
lives, thanks to his guidance, unshaken by the waves. 
For you have not been reached by buffets of the 
blasts of heresy, which lead to drowning and ship- 
wreck for souls which are easily upset. And 
may this never happen, O Master of all, who 
didst grant the favour of long tranquillity to Thy 
servant Gregory ,2 who at the beginning laid firm the 
foundations of your church. 

To this church, my friends, do you not at this 
present crisis prove false, nor, by immoderate lamen- 
tation and by abandoning yourselves to manifestations 
of grief, offer opportunity for constraint to those who 
lie in wait for your destruction. But if you must by 
all means lament (which indeed I do not admit, lest 
we be likened in this to those who have no hope),^ 
do you, if so it seems best, like a funeral chorus 
select your leader, and in more harmonious strains 
bewail with him your loss. 

And yet, even though he did not reach extreme 

^ Cf. Lev. 26, 10. koI (pdyeade iraXaia /cal TraAota iraXaiuy, 
Kcd irahaia. e/c TTpocrunrov veoiv e^oi(T€T€. " Y^OU shall eat tlie 
oldest of the old store, and, new coming on, you shall cast 
awaj- the old." 

' Gregory Thaumaturgus. ^ Qf^ j Thess. 4, 12. 

163 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

YjXavvev 6 avtjp, d\)C ovv rod ye ')(p6vov eveKev 
rr)^ v/jLerepw; eiridraaia^ ovk, eVSew? elye rov 
^iov. Tov T€ acofjLaro^; toctovtov /jLerel^^ev, ocrov 
T^9 '^v)(^r]<; TO Kaprepov '^ iirl ^ raU aXyi^Socnv 
avTOv BecKvupac. tv)(ov Be av tl<; v/jlcov v7ro\d/3oL 
on Koi 6 %poi^o9 av^rjai^ (jvpLiTa6eia<; koX irpoa- 
6i]K7] (l)L\Tpov, ou^^l d(f)Op/jLr) Kopov TOt? TTeipa- 
Oelcnv eyylverai,^ w<7Te, oaw ev TrXeiOvt 'X^povw 
Ty]<i evepyeaia<i ireireipacrOe, roaovrq) pidWov rrj^ 
aTToXet'v/rea)? iiraiaOdveaOe'^ crcoyLtaTO? Be BiKaiov 
Kal (jKid TOV 7ravT0<; d^ia toI<; evXa/Seai. Kal 
etr] ye ttoXXoi)? v/jlcjv iirl TavTrj^ elvai r/}? Bia- 
voLa<;' ovBe yap auTo? a/^eXw? e)(^ecv tov dvBp6<i 
(f)rj/jLL ')(^pr}vai, dX)C dvdp(0 7TLVco<^ crv/jL/3ov\evco to 
XvTTTjpov BLa(j)epeiV' eVet ocra ye eaTLv eliTelv 
diTOKXaiojikvov^ Tr]v t,r\ixiav ovBe e/xe avrov Bia- 
(pevyec. 

^LcoTra fjLev yXoiTTa iroTapiol^ taa Ta<; dKod<; 
eirifcXv^ovaa' KapBia<; Be ^d6o<; ovBevl reo)? 
KaTaXTjTTTov, oveipwv daOeveaTepov ocra ye tt/jo? 
dvdpcoTTOvq, BiLiTTdixevov oXyeTai. rt? 6^vTepo<; ^ 
eiceivov irpolBea-Oai to fxeXXov ; rt? ev ovtco aTa- 
Oepu) Kal 7rayi(p t>}? '^^X'}? ijOei, d(TTpa7Tfj<; 
Td)(^Lov ToU Trpdy/xaaiP eireXdelv iKavo^ ; w ttoXl^ 
TToXXot? [lev ijBrj 7TpoeLXt]fifjL€vr) TrdOeaiv, vtt 
ovBevo^ ye firjv oi/tcd? eh avTa to, Kalpia tov 
/3iov ^7]/jLLco6elcra. vvv dirijvOrjice aoL^ KbapuO^i o 
KdXXLaT0<^' eKKXijaia Be /jLe/ivfce, Kal aKvdpwTTd^- 
ovac 7ravr]yvpei<;, Kal to lepov avveBpiov tov 

1 KuprepiKhu F. 2 ,v A, B, C, D, F. 

8 yiverai A, B, C, D, F. 
* Sic omnia MSS. ; Ed. Ben. iiraiaedveadai. 
164 



LETTER XXVIII 

old age, still as regards the period of his authority 
over you there was no deficiency in his life. Of the 
body he partook long enough to reveal his soul's 
endurance in his moments of affliction. But perhaps 
someone among you may object and say that length 
of days means increase of fellow-feeling and aug- 
mentation of affection, and that no occasion of 
satiety arises in those who have had long experience 
of another, so that the longer you have experienced 
his kindness, the more sensible you are of its loss ; 
but of the body of a righteous man even a shadow ^ 
is most precious in the eyes of the devout. And 
would that many of you were of this way of thinking ; 
for though 1 do not myself assert that you should be 
unmindful of our friend, yet I counsel you to bear 
your grief as men should ; since I myself also am 
not unaware of all that can be said by those who 
bewail their loss. 

Silent is his tongue, which like a mighty torrent 
flooded our ears ; his heart, whose depth has not 
hitherto been fathomed, now more unsubstantial 
than a dream, judged by human standards, has taken 
wings and fled. Who possessed a keener vision than 
he to foresee the future? Who, in spite of a habit 
of soul so calm and steadfast, could more swiftly 
than lightning dash into action? O city, that hath 
many times ere now been in the grasp of woes, yet 
never by any affliction hath been so stricken to the 
very vitals of its life ! Now your fairest garland has 
faded ; your church is hushed, your assemblies are 
sad of countenance, the sacred synod yearns for its 

1 i.e. even a short and fleeting life in the body. 

'' o^vTfpov editi ; o^vrepos C, D, F. *» <rov E. 

165 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kopvc^alov eTTLiroOel' \6yoL Be fivarifcol tov e'f- 
'}jyr]T7]v avafxevova-LV, ol iralhe^ tov irarepa, ol 
7rp€cr/3vrao tov ?)Xiki cot t]v, ol iv TeXec tov e^ap- 
Xov, Sf]/JL0<; TOV TrpoaTaTijv, ol jStov Seofievot 
TOV Tpo(f>ea' ■ 7rdvT€<i avTov €k twv ol/ceiOTaTcov 
ovo/xaTcov avaKokov/jievoL, irrl olKeiw irdOet,, ol- 
K6L0V eavTw ^ Kol 7rpoar)KOVTa €KaaTO<i tov Oprjvov 
aipovaiv.^ 

WWci rrov /jLoc 6 X0709 vcf)' ■))8ovP]<; twv haKpvwv 
efC(f)epeTai ; ovk dvavy^yp^o/juev ; ov)(^ ijfiwv avTcov 
yevqaofJLeOa ; ovk diTo^\ey\ropiev ^ irpo^ tov kol- 
vov ^eaTTOTifv, 09 efcaaTOV tmv dylcov Tfj Ihia 
yevea i7rtTpeyfra<; v7rr]p6T7]aaa6ai, rot? KaOijKouai 
')(^pQVOL<^ '7rpo<; eavTov irdXiv dveKaXiaaTo ; vvv 

€V KaipW TCOV eKelvOV (j)COVMV lJ7rO/jiV7]ad7]T€, 69 

eKKk7](7Ld^(ov vfxtv^ del SteaTeWeTO, BXeVere, 
Xeycov, tov<; fcuva^, /SXe-rreTe tou? KaKOv<; ipydTa<;. 
TToXXol ol Kvve<;. tI Xiyco Kvve<; ; Xvkol /xev 
ovv ^ap6l<^, iv eTTLcpaveLa irpolSdTcov to BoXepov 
iJ7rofcpv'7TTovTe<;, 7ravTa)(ov r/}? 0LK0V/jLev7]<; to 
^piaTov TTOi/iviov BcaaTTCjatv. ov^ (f)vXaKTeov 
vfiiv, iyp-qyopLKov tlvo'^ 7roL/ievo<; eiTLaTaala. ov 
vfieTepov fiev acTTjaat, (f)LXoveiKLa<; irdarj^ Kal 
(j)iXo7rp(OTLaf; Td<; '^u)(^d<i KaOapevovTa^, tov 
K^vpLov Be dvaBel^at, 09 diro tov peydXov irpo- 
(jTdTOV Trj<; eKKX7]aia^ vpcov Tp-qyopiov p^ey^pi tov 
paKapiov tovtov, dXXov eir^ dXXco irpoaTLdeU Kal 
avvapfio^cov del, olov €K tlvo<; dpp.ov Xcdcov ttoXv- 
TeXoiv, Oavp^acTTOV olov KdXXo<^ t?}? eKKXriaia<^ vpcov 
€)(aplaaT0. coaTe ovBe tcov e(^ef/J9 direXTnaTeov. 
olBe yap Kvpi,o<; tou? 6vTa<; avTov, Kal dydyoi dv ^ 

^ avTCf editi ; kavT^ E. ^ ipovaiv A, B, C, D, F. 

166 



LETTER XXVIir 

leader ; the mystic words await their expounder, the 
children their father, the elders their comrade, those 
in authority their chief, the people their protector, 
those who lack sustenance their nourisher ; as they 
all call him back by the names most appropriate to 
each, to help them each in their own distress, they 
raise each his own lament in terms fitting to himself. 
But whither is my speech swe{)t from its course 
through indulgence in these tears ? Shall we not 
return to sobriety of mind ? Shall we not recover 
our self-control ? Shall we not fix our gaze upon 
our common Lord, who suffers each of His saints to 
serve his generation, and then at the fitting moment 
calls him back again to Himself? Remember now in 
season the words of him who as he preached used 
always expressly to command you, saying : " Beware 
of dogs, beware of evil workers."^ The dogs are 
many. Why do I say dogs ? Nay, rather ravenous 
wolves who hide their deceit under the guise of 
sheep, and everywhere in the world scatter Christ's 
flock. Against these vou must guard, under the 
care of a watchful shepherd. For him it is yours 
to petition, purging your souls of all rivalry and 
ambition for })referment, but to point him out is the 
Lord's part, who, beginning with Gregory, the great 
leader of your church, down to the present blessed 
departed one, has added one to the other, ever fitting 
them together like costly gems to a setting, and thus 
has graciously blessed you with the marvellous beauty 
of your church. Therefore we must not despair ot 
their successors, either. For the Lord knoweth who 

1 riiii. 3. 2. 

3 aua^Kfypo/xev B, C. * vij.7u om. F. ^ h.v om. E. 

167 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

eh TO fjLeaov tov<; irap tj/jlcov tv^ov ov TrpoaBo- 
fco)/ji€vov<;. 

UaXaL fie Oekovra tcov Xoycov 7ravcraa6ai, rj 
ohvvTj T?)? Kaphia<^ ovk eiriTpe'TreL. dXX! eiTL- 
(jKi)iTT(o vpXv 7rpo<i T03V TTaTepcov, irpo^ Trj<; opOrj^ 
TrtcTTeo)?, 7r/309 rod fiaKapLov toutov, hiavaaTrjvat 
Ti-jv "^vxv^, oUelov efcaarov eavrov to airovha^- 
Ofxevov Kpivavra, Kal ri)^ 6</)' eKurepa tcov TTpay- 
/jlutcov iKfidaeco<; irpwTOv avTOV airoXavaeiv 
i]yov}xevov' /jLrjBe, to toU ttoXXoZ? au/JL^alvov, 
77/309 Tov TrXijaiov Ti-jv TO)V KOLVOJV eTTLfieXetav 
ciirwOelaOaiy elra, eKciaTov Trj avTOV ^ ^Lavoia 
TMV TTpayfxaTcov oXiycopovvTc^, XaOelv d7ravTa<; 
lBiov eavToh KaKov Bid r?}? dfieXeiaf; eTnairaaa- 
fievov^. 

TavTa elTe co? yeiTovoyv av/juirddeia, ecTe &>? 
ofioho^ovvTwv KOivcovla, cltc KaL, OTrep dXrjOea- 
T€p6v iaTL, Tw Tr}<; dyd'TT7]<; TreiOofievcov ^ vofiw 
Kal TOV Ik tov aicoTrrjaac Kivhwov IkkXivovt^v, 
jxeTa 7rdcrrj(; evvoLw; he^aaOe, TreTreia/ievoL otl 
Kav')(riixa rj/icov eaTe, KaOdirep Kal rjfieh vp-MV, 
et9 Tr}v ijpepav tov KvpLOV, Kal otl, eK tov 
hodrjaopevov 7roip,evo<; vpuv, rj ^ iirl irXeov tm 
avvBecrpLfp t% dydirt)'^ evco6^]a6p,e6a, i) 7rpb<; 
iravTeXi) SidaTaaiv o pi] yevoiTo, p^rjBe^ eaTac 
Tfi TOV 0eou ')(dpiTi, ovS' dv avTO<; etiroipLL vvv 
^Xda(f)7]p,ov ovdev.^ tovto Be elBevac vpd<; 
/3ovX6pieda, OTL el kuI 7rpb<; ttjv elprjvrjv tcov 
eKKXijalcov avvTpe)(^ovTa rjpcv ovk ea^opev tov 
paKdpiov, Bid TLva<;, ci)9 avTO<; ijpLtv ^ Bce/Se/SaiovTO, 

^ a'jT]) A, B, C, I), E, ¥. ' TTuOoix^vcf B, E. 

x68 



LETTER XXVIII 

are His, and will brinf^ forward those whom we 
perhaps do not expect. 

Although I have long been wishing to bring these 
words to an end, the grief of my heart does not per- 
mit me. But I charge you by 'the Fathers, by the 
true faith, by this one who has now gone to his rest, 
to arouse your souls, each one of you judging the 
business at hand to be his very own, and considering 
that, whatever the outcome of the matter shall be, 
each will himself primarily enjoy the benefits. Do 
not, as is usually the case, thrust the care of the 
common weal upon your neighbour, and then, as 
each one in his own thoughts makes light of the 
matter, all find to their surprise that they have drawn 
upon themselves through their neglect a personal 
misfortune. 

Accept these words with all good-will, as a token 
either of neighbourly sympathy, or of the fellowship 
of men of like faith, or, more truly, of the fellowship 
of men who obey the law of love and shun the peril 
of silence ; accept them in the conviction that you 
are our pride, as we likewise are yours, till the day 
of the Lord, and that on the shepherd to be given 
you depends whether we shall be united still more 
by the bond of love, or be brought to complete 
estrangement. May God forbid this last ; and bv 
the favour of God it will not be ; nor would 1 myself 
now say anything obnoxious. Of this, however, we 
wish you to be assured, that even if we did not have 
our departed brother working with us for peace 
among the churches, because of what were, as he 
himself assured us, certain preconceptions, never- 

3 fi om. C, D. * ou5e A, B, C, D. 

5 ovd( eV A, B, C, 1). 6 ^^5y A, B, F. 

169 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

7rpoXy]^lr€L<;, a)OC ovv ye t?)? tt/oo? avrov ofio- 
ho^ia<; Kal Tov del kolvcovov iTTLKaXelaOac rcov 
7rpo9 TOv<; alpeTiKOV<; dycovcov, viro fMcipTVpL rw 
©6ft) Kal avOpct)7rof.<; roh 7re7reLpa/xevoL<; rjfiwi^, 
ovheva Kaipov direXelcpOijfiev. 



XXIX 

T^ eKKXrjaia 'AjKvpa^ Trapa/JLvdrjTLKi] 

UoXvv i^fxlv \povov crL(07rr]v eveiroirjaev r) efc- 
irXij^i^; T?}? jBapvTCiTri^ dyyeXia^ tov av/jb/Sdvro^ 
KaKOV. iirel he puKpov ttw'^ rrj^i d(l)a(TLa<^ dvrjvey- 
Ka/j.6V, 7]v, 0)9 01 /Spovrf] /jLeydXrj ra? dfCoa<; 
KaTa7rXayevT€<;,^ ireirovOajxeVy dvayKaicii<^ vvv 
e-rrearevd^apev rw avfi/SavTi, Kal fiera^v oSvp- 
ofievoL ri-jv ""eTTicnoXr^v vfuv e^eirepL-^aiiev ov 
7rapaKX7]creco<; eveKev (r/? yap dv Kal Xoyo^ 
evpedeiii roaavTT]^ (TV/ji(f>opd<^ laTp6<; ;), dXXd ri]V 
oBuvt'jv rr)? Kaphia<; rj/xcov, KaO' oaov Bvvarov, Ik 
Tij<; ^wvT]^ ravj-q^ vfxlv BiacnjfiaiPOVTe^i. vvv 
iSeofJLTjv TMV '\epe/iiOv dpi]i>a)v, Kal el Si] Ti? 
dXXo<; Tcav fiaKapiwv dvhpojv avficpopd'; jieyeOo^ ^ 
efJLiTa6o)<; dirwhvpaTO. 

YleTTTWKev dvi]p, crruXo? rw ovn Kal eBpalcopa 
rPj^ 'YjKKXi-jaia^'^ pdXXov he avTO<; /xev tt/oo? ttjv 
paKapiav ^wr]v dpOeU «(/)' yp-ojv oXye-rai' Kivhvvo^ 
he ov pLKp6<;, firj * ttoXXoI to) epeLa/jLari tovtw vtt- 

1 iKirKayevres A, B, C, D. ^ ffv/xpopas jxiyiaras C, D. 

3 'EffK:\rj(Tior] aXTjPeias C, D. ^ /x-ffiroTe F. 

170 



LETTER XXIX 

theless on no occasion did we fail of unity of belief 
with him or neglect to summon his help in our 
struggles against the heretics ; God be our witness, 
and the men who know us. 



LETTER XXIX 

To THE Church of Ancyra, consolatory ^ 

The shock of the most grievous tidings of the 
misfortune which has befallen you has kept us silent 
for some time. But now that we have recovered in 
some slight measure from the speechlessness with 
which we have been affected, like those who are 
smitten with deafness by a loud clap of thunder, we 
cannot help uttering a cry of sorrow over the event, 
and in the midst of our lamentations sending you 
this letter. We write not so much to console (for 
what words could be found to heal so great a mis- 
fortune } ), but to show you by this message, so far as 
it is possible to do so, the distress of our own heart. 
1 am in need now of the lamentations of Jeremias, 
or of some other blessed man who has passionately 
bemoaned a mighty misfortune. 

A man has fallen, who was in truth a j^illar and 
foundation of the Church ; or rather, as far as he 
himself is concerned, he has been lifted up to a life 
of bliss and has gone from us ; but there is no little 
danger that many will fall together with this support 

^ Written in the spring of 368 ; cf. Schafer, loc. cit. On 
the consolation, cf. Letters XXIV and XXV. The occasion 
of this letter is the death of Athanasius, Bishop of Ancyra. 

171 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

e^aLpeOevTL avyKarairecrwaL, /cal ra aadpd rivcov 
(pavepa yivrjraL. /ceKXecaTac (TTOfia 7rappi]aLa<; 
re hiKaia^i /cal \6yov<; •"• )(dpLTo<; eV* ol/coBofif} Trj<; 
dSe\(f)6Ti]T0<; IBpvov. oixejai Se (f)p€v6<; /SovXev- 
/jLara, tt)? 6vtco<; iv Sew KLvovfjLepy]<;. w 7roadKL<; 
jXOL (^Kar-qyoprjao) 'yap ifiavrov) eirrjXOev dya- 
vaKTYjcTaL Kara rod dvhpo^, on 6\o<i^ y€v6fjievo<; 
T?}? eVi^f/xta? rod dvakvaai ^ koI avv Xpiaro) 
ehai, TO e-TTLfJielvai iv ^ rrj aapKi ov Trpoeri/jLijo-e 
Bl* i-jfjia^;. 7rpo<; riva XoLirov ra^ (ppovrlSa^; roiv 
eK/cXycTLcov ^ V7rep0(i)/J.e0a ; riva koivcovov rojv 
Xvinjpcov Xd^cofJiev ; riva fiepLari-jv rrf^ €V(ppo- 
avv^]^ ; 0) T?}? Beivr]<; 6vra)<; Kal aKvOpco7Trj<; 
€pr]/iia<;. ttw? dKpLficb<; oDfiOLcody-jfjLev ireXeKavL 
iprj/jLLKU) ; 

^AXXd fx-qv rd ye cvva^Oevra fieXr) rfj<; 'Ea:- 
KXrjcria'^, olov viro '^vx^l'^ riv6<;, t?)? eKeivov 
rrpoaraaia'^, eU fiiav av/nrddetav Kal uKpt/Si] 
KOLVcoviav avvapfioaOevra, Kal ^yXdaaerai Bid 
rou avvBeafxov n)^ elpijvrjf; rrpo<; rrjv irvevfjLariKrjv 
dp/jLoXoyiav irayio)^, Kal (fivXa^^OrjaeraL et? dei,^ 
rovro rod (deov y^apL^op.evov, ehpala fxiveiv Kal 
d/jLeraKiv7]ra t>}9 paKapia^; eVetV?;? '^'^X^l^ '^^ 
epya, oaa evr)OXr]ae raU ^EKKXrjalat^; rod ©eof). 
ttXtjv dXX^ 6 dycbv ov p.LKpo<;, /ly] nve^ irdXiv 

1 \6yois A, B, E. F. 2 Sj[g omnia MSS. ; oAa.s editi. 

^ avaxoipri(Tai F. * iv om. Yj, F. 

^ i<K\r)(Tia(TriKoi}V A, 13. ^ eiVoet D. 

172 



LETTER XXIX 

which lias been taken from under them, and tliat 
the rottenness of certain persons will be laid bare. 
A mouth has been sealed which abounded in 
righteous frankness and gushed forth words of grace 
for the edification of the brotherhood. Gone are 
the counsels of a mind which truly moved in God. 
Alas ! how often (for I shall accuse myself) have I 
been moved to indignation against our friend, 
because, in the desire which came to possess him 
" to be dissolved and to be with Christ," he did not 
prefer, for our sakes, '' to abide still in the flesh ! " ^ 
To whom shall we now transfer the cares of the 
churches ? Whom now shall I take as a partner in 
my sorrows ? Whom as a sharer in my joy ? Alas 
for my loneliness, truly wretched and sad ! How 
precisely is our state like that of the pelican of the 
wilderness ! ^ 

Yet assuredly the limbs of the Church knitted 
together by his superintendence as by a soul, and 
joined into a union of sympathy and true fellowship, 
are not only steadfastly preserved by the bond of peace 
for the spiritual communion, but will also be 
preserved for ever, if God will grant us this boon — 
that all the works of this blessed soul, wherein he 
laboured for God's churches, may rest firm and 
unshaken And yet the struggle is not slight, that 

^ Cf. Phil. 1. 23 and 24: koI ri alp-qcro/xai, ov yvwpi^w aw- 
exofJ-ai yap (k tuv 5vo, rrji' itridufiiap excov els rh avaKvaai, Kal 
ahv XpicTTcv eJuai, ttoAAi^ /jluWou Kpu(T<Tov rh Se iiri/jifveiv iv tj) 
aapKl, auayKai6T€pov 5i' i/fxas. "And what 1 shall choose 
I know not. But I ain straitened between two : having a 
desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, a thing by far 
the better. But to abide still in the flesh is needful for 

you." 
2 Cf. Paal. 102. 6. 

173 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SALXT BASIL 

e/)tSe? ^ Ka\ Si,)(^oaTaaiai, eVl rrjv eKXoyrjv rov 
TrpoararovvTO^^ dvacpvelaai, iravra Ojxov top 
KOiTOV €K T?5? TV)(ov(Tr)<; e/Jt^o? dvarpiyfrcoaiv. 



XXX 

FiVae^LO) eTTLCTKoiTW Xa/xoo-ciTcov 

Et TTao-a? i(j)€^r]^ ypd(f)OL/ic Td<; aLTLa<; vcp^ 
Mv fi^XP^ '^^^ irapovro'^ Karea'^iOrjv, koX irdvv 
(jDp/jir]/i6V0<; Trpo? rrjv arjv Oeoae/Seiav, iaropLa<i 
dv firjKO^ direpavTOV eKTrXrjpooo-ac/JLL. v6(rov<; /xev 
67raX\?;Xou9, Kal ^eLfjLOivo'^ i7rd')(^6eLav, Kal irpay- 
fidrcov avvoy^rjv Trapirj/jLi Xeyeiv, yvcopi/ia ovra 
Kal i]87} 7T poSeBrjXco/jLeva rfj TeXeLOTrjTi aov. vvv 
he /cat Tjp fiovrjv el')(^ov rov /Slov TTapa/JLvOlav rrjv 
fiTjTepa, Kal TavTfjV d^rjpeOrjv viro tojv dfiapricov 
jjLOV.^ Kal pr) KaTayeXd(Tr]<^ jjlov go? iv rovrq) 
T>)? 7]XLKLa^ opcpavLav dirohvpopbevov^ dXXa avy- 
yvcodi pLOi '^vx^l'^ x^piapou dv€KT(i)<; p,7j cfyipovri, 
rj<; ovSev dvrd^iov ev toI<; XecTTop^ivoL^; ^ opo). 
irdXiv ovv pLOi virearpey^re ra dppo)aTyjp.aTa, 
Kal irdXtv iirl kXIvij^; KardKeipLaiy iirl fiLKpa^;^ 
iravreXod'^ rr}? Svvdpeci)<; aaXevcov, Kal povov ovk '^ 
icj)' 6/tacrT?;9 copa^ to dvayKalov 7r€pa<; Tr]<; fwi}? 
iKBex6p^evo<;. 

Al Be eKKXr)(TLaL a^^Bov tl 7rapa7rXr](TLa)<; rw 
acop^arl p,ov BidKeivrar dya6rj<i pev eXirlBo^ ovBe- 



^ epis E. ^ fxiraaravTos C, D. 

^ fiov om. C, D, F. * oSvpofi^yov C, 1). 



174 



LETTER XXX 

we may prevent the s})ringing uj) again, over the 
election of a sui)erinten(lcnt, of strifes and dissensions, 
and the utter overturning, as tlie result of a petty 
quarrel, of all our labours. 



LETTER XXX 

To EusEBius, Bishop of Samosata ^ 

If I should relate at length all the reasons for my 
having been hitherto detained at home, altogether 
eager as I am to set out to see your reverence, I 
should traverse an interminable length of narrative. 
I pass over a succession of bodily ills, a tedious 
winter, vexatious affairs of business, all of which are 
known and have previously been explained to your 
excellency. And now, as the result of my sins, I 
have been bereft of the only solace that I possessed, 
my mother.- Pray do not deride me for bewailing 
my orphanhood at this time of life, but forgive me 
for not having the ])atience to endure separation 
from a soul whose like I do not behold among those 
w^ho are left behind. M}- ill-health has now 
returned again, and again I lie on my bed, tossing 
about on the anchorage of my little remaining 
strength and ready at almost every hour to accept 
the inevitable end of life. 

The churches exhibit a condition almost like that 
of my body : for no ground of good hope comes into 

^ Written in the summer of 368; cf. Schiifer, loc. cit. 
* St Emmelia, For Basil's family, see lutrod., p. xiii. 

^ KiTToixivoLS C, D. ® fxaKpus E. 

" ixovovovx^' C, I). 

175 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fXLCL^ v7ro(f)aii'Ofi€P7]^, ael Se irpo to y^elpov roiv 
Trpay/jbdrcov viroppeovrcov. r6co<; he rj NeoKaia- 
dpeta KOI T) ^Ay/cvpa eho^av €')(^eLV Bia86)(ov<i rcov 
direXOovTwv, kol p^^XP^ '^^^ ^^^ rjcrvxd^ovaLV. 
dX\' ovSe -^ rjpLLv ol iiri^ovXevovTe'^ TTOLrjaal tl rod 
OvpLov Kal T/}? 7ri/cpia<; d^iov p^expt rav iTap6vT0<^ 
Gvv6X(j^P'f']0i](Tav. Kal tovtov ttjv alrlav Tal<^ aal'^ 
inrep rSiV iKKXrjaLwv TTpea^elaL^ TrpoSijXco^; rjfieU 
dvaTiOe/iev. ware pur) diroKapbrjf; iTpoaevxopLevo<^ 
virep TOdv eKKXtjcrioov Kal hvacoiroiv tov 0eor. 
T01/9 Kara^LwOevra^ i^viriipeTeladai rfj octlotiitI 
aov irdpnToXXa irpoaeLire. 



XXXI 

^vae^LO) iiTiaKOTrcp ^apLoadrcov ^ 

OvTTco t)fid<; 6 Xip.o<i dvrjKe, hioirep dva'^jKaia 
i)puv iarlv 7) eVl^ r^? TroXeo)? BLaytoyi], rj oIko- 
vo/jLLa<; eveKev, 7) avpLiraOeia^ twi/ OXijBopievwv. 
odev ovhe viiv ySvvijOyjv Koivcovrjaat Ti]<; oBov rw 
alSeaipLcoTdrq) dB€X(j)(i) "Tiraricp, ov ovk avro Br) 
TOVTO 6v(f>7]pLLa<; eveKev dBeX(f)ov ex^ irpoaayo- 
peveiv, dXXd Bid ti]v irpoaovaav^ i)pLV Ik (^ucreoj? 
oLKeioryjra' a7pLaT0<i ydp icrpiev tov avTOv. 

'^O? oirola p.ev KdpLvei, ovBe ttjv aijv eXaOe 

1 ovZU E, F. 2 El-<t6jScov5 imaKSircf} A, B, C, D, E, F. 

' Trepl E. * vwovaau A, B, C, D. 

^ i.e. Basil and his church. 

* Written in the autumn of 368 ; cf. Schiifer, loc. cif. 

^ Cf. Letter XCI, where the Eastern bishops number 

176 



LETTER XXXI 

view, and their affairs are constantly drifting toward 
the worse. Meanwhile Neocaesarea and Ancyra 
seem to have received successors to those who have 
passed away, and thus far they have remained 
quiet. Nay, neither have those who plot against 
us^ so far succeeded in accomplishing anything 
worthy of their wrath and bitterness. And the 
reason for this we frankly attribute to your inter- 
cession in behalf of the churches. Therefore do not 
grow weary of praying for the churches and of 
importuning God. To those who have been deemed 
worthy to serve your holiness give many greetings. 



LETTER XXXI 
To EusEBius, Bishop of S.amosata ^ 

The famine has not yet released us, so that it is 
incumbent upon me to linger on in the city, partly 
to attend to distribution of aid,^ and partly out 
of sympathy for the afflicted. Consequently not 
even now am I able to accompany on his journey 
our most revered brother Hypatius,* whom I am 
entitled to address as brother not merely by way of 
conventional salutation, but on account of the natural 
relationship which exists between us ; for we are of 
the same blood. 

Your honour also is aware of the nature of the 

among the evils of their churches tliat unscrupulous officials 
appropriate for their own use funds intended for the poor. 

* Nothing is known of this Hypatiua. Cf. Gregory of 
Nazianzus, Letter CXCII, addressed to a correspondent of 
the same name. 

177 
VOL. I. N 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TLfXLOTiiTa. XvTTel 8e rj/jLclf; otl iraaa 7rapa/j-vOla<i 
eXTTt? eV" avTW TrepLfceKOTTTai, tmv eyovrwv ra r/)? 
lda€co<; papier fxara ovSev iir' avrov roiv avv/jOwv 
evepyvjaai avy)(^ct)p7]6epro)v. Sto irdXiv TOiv awv 
7rpo(76V)((i)V rrjv /SoyjOeiav iirLKokelraL. av he ra 
avv7]6r} TTpoarrjvai, koX Sta rrjv aeavjov irepl tou? 
KapLvovra^; evcnrXayxviav, koI Si r)fjLd<; tov<; virep 
avTov 7rp€a/3evovTa<;, 7rapaK\^]dr)TL, kul, el fiev 
olov re, 7rpo9 eavrov -"■ peraarelXai tov<; evXa^eard- 
Tou? ^ Tajz^ dBeX(f)ojv, coare vtto ral^ aaL<; o^jreai 
7rpo(Ta)(6f]i'ai avrw rrjv iirLfieXeiav' el Se tovto 
dhvvarov, /xerd ypa/xpdrcov avrov 7rp07repL\lrai Kal 
avarijcraL roh epnTpoadev Kara^icoaov. 



XXXII 

Sci)(f>povia> ixaylaTpw ^ 

^ AiroXavei rod fcatpov kul 6 OeocpiXea-Taro'; 
dSe\(^09 TjfiMV VprjyopLO^ 6 eTTicTKOiTO'^' oSvvdrai 
yap perd irdvTOdv Kal avro^ eV^z/oe/af? aXXeiraXXi]- 
XoL<;,^ (oairep tlctX 7rXr)yaL<; dirpoahoKi'-jTOi^, rvirr- 
6p.evo^. di'OpcoTTOc ydp pLi] (j)o/3ovp,6voi top Seov, 

^ a-eaurhv F. ^ corrected to eyce^eo-TaTous alia manu F. 

^ Sta rp7)y6piov iiricrKoirov add. C. * iiTa\Xi]\ois C, D. 

^ Written in 369. This Sophronius, a native of Cappa- 
docian Caesarea, was an earl}' friend and fellow-student of 
both Basil and Gregory Nazianxenus while at Athens. He 
entered the Civil Service, and soon rose to high office. lu 
A.D. 365 he was appointed Prefect of Constantinople, as a 
reward for warning the Emperor Valens of the attempted 
usurpation b}' Procopius ; cf. Amm. ^larc. xxv, 9. He is 



LETTER XXXII 

malady of tliis Hypatius. It grieves us tliat all 
hope of comfort for him is cut off, for those who 
possess the divine gifts of healing have not been 
permitted to apply any of the customary cures in his 
case. Therefore he again calls upon you for the aid 
of your prayers. May I entreat you to intercede for 
him in your usual manner, both on account of your 
own kindness of heart towards all who are in trouble, 
and on account of us who intercede in his behalf; 
and, if it is possible, be pleased to summon the most 
pious of the brethren to your presence, that their 
treatment may be applied to him under your eyes ; 
but if this is impossible, consent to send him on his 
way with a letter and to recommend him to those 
ahead. 

LETTER XXXII 

To Soph RON I us, the Master^ 

Our brother Gregory, the bishop,- most beloved of 
God, is getting the benefit of these times ; for he 
like everybody else is distressed by the acts of 
insolence upon insolence with which he is constantly 
smitten, as it were by unexpected blows. For men 
who are without fear of God, and are probably also 

known chiefly from the letters of Gregory and Basil, invoking 
his good offices for various persons ; of. Letters LXXVI, 
XCVI, CLXXVII, CLXXX, CXCII, and CCLXXII ; also 
Greg. Naz. Letters XXI, XXII, XXIX, XXXVII, XXXIX, 
XCIII, CXXXV. ^ 

^ Gregory of Nazianzus is meant here. He was not a 
bishop at this time ; and Maran suggests that 6 cTriV/coTros is a 
marginal gloss crept into the text. Gregory the Elder 
cannot be meant here, because he did not adopt the monastic 
life. 

179 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Ta%a TTOV Kol xjiTO rod fxe<ye6ov<; roiv KaKOdv ^la^- 
ofievot, 67rrjped^ov(TLv avTw o)? XPW^'^^ Kaicrapiov 
Trap' avTcov el\7}(f>670<^. 

Kal ou TO TTJ? ^rjfiia^ ^apv, iraXai yap efiaOe 
^pyj^LciTcov virepopav uXX! ore /xL/cpa iravTeXco^ 
he^dpievoL twv eKeivov, 8id ro irrl oiKeratf; avrov 
yeveaOaL tov ^lov Koi dv6pcoiTOL<^ ovSev Oi/cercov 
alperwTepoL<; tov rpoirov, ol Kara iroWrjv dSetav 
rd irXeLaTov d^ia SiavetpLdp^evot eXdyiGTa irav- 
tgXco? direacoaav tovtol'^' a vopLi^ovre^ p,7]Sevl 
vTTOKetaOai, €vdv<; dvdXcoaav eh tou? Beopevov;, 
Kal Sid TTjV kavTOiv Trpoaipecnv Kal Sid rrjv (f^covijv 
TOV KaToixopiei'ov. XeyeTUi ydp tovto elirelv 
aTTodvTi^aKwv, OTL Td ipbd irdvTa /BovXopiai yeveaOai 

TOJP TTTCOX^^' ^'^ °^^ SiaKOVOl T?}? ivTO\i]<; TOV 

Y^aiaapiov,^ ev6v<i avTd ojKovopTjaav avp(f)6p6vTco<;. 
Kal vvv 7r6pieaT7]K€ irevia puev HpicrTiavov, ttoXv- 
Trpaypoavvi] Se twv dyopaiwv ev6<;. Sio irrt^XOe 
T?7 irdvTa iiraiveT^ aov KaXoKayaOia SrjXcocrat, 
Lva Kal TOV dvSpa Tipcov, ov ek iraXaiov yvw pi^ei<;, 
Kal TOV Kvpiov So^d^wv TOV e/? eavTov dvaSexope- 
vov Td TOt? SovXoi<} avTov yivopeva, Kal r}p.d<; Tipcov 
TOL*? i^aip€Tov<; aeavTOV,^ Kal SiaXex^fj'^ t"^ 
YLopirfTL TOiv OyjcravpMV irepl avTOv Td eiKOTa, Kal 



^ Kupiou A, B, 0, D, E ; xP^'^'^'^v F. 
^ kavTOv E. 



^ Gregory's brother ; of. Letter XXVI. Caesarius had died 
.shortly before, bequeathing all his property- to the poor, and 
leaving Gregorj' as executor. His house, however, was 
looted by his servants, and his brother could find but a 
comparatively small amount of money. Furthermore, a 
number of persons, shortly afterwards, presented themselves 
as creditors of his estate ; and their claims, though incapable 

1 80 



LETTER XXXII 

under the compulsion of a multitude of evils, 
insolently abuse him on the ground that Caesarius ^ 
borrowed money from them. 

Now the loss of the money is no serious matter, 
for he learnt long ago to disregard wealth ; but the 
fact is that the executors received very little of 
Caesarius's wealth, because his estate got into the 
control of slaves and men no better than slaves in 
character ; and the executors then distributed the 
most valuable effects under full authority to do so, 
and reserved very little indeed for these men ; and 
since they considered that this little was not pledged 
to anyone, they immediately distributed it among the 
needy, both according to their own preference and in 
accordance with the words of the departed. For he 
is reported to have said on his death-bed, ^^ I wish 
all my possessions to belong to the poor." Therefore, 
as ministers of Caesarius's behest, they immediately 
bestowed these possessions in alms, as was expedient. 
And now we have this outcome — a Christian's 
poverty, on the one hand, and, on the other, the busy 
haggling of a market-lounger.^ I bethought me, 
accordingly, of disclosing the matter to that noble 
heart of yours so worthy of all praise, that honouring 
this man, whom you have known from of old, glorifying 
the Lord, who accepts as done to Himself what is done 
to His servants, and honouring us your chosen friend, 
you might tell the Prefect of the Treasury what 
may reasonably be said concerning Gregory, and 

of proof, were paid. Others, however, kept coming forward, 
until at last no more were admitted. Then a lawsuit was 
threatened. Disliking all this, Basil writes this letter 
to Sophronius seeking his aid. Of, Greg. Naz. Letter XXIX, 
2 i.e. Gregory the priest must deal with creditors and 
claimants. 

i8i 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

rpoTTov iTTLvorjarj^} rfj /jieydXrj aavrou avviaet-, 
a7raWayfi<; rcov i(^vPpicrr(i)v^ tovtwv kuI a(f)op- 

7JTC0V 0')(\l^(TeWV. 

l\dvTW<; he ov8el<; ovt(o<; dyvoel rov dvhpa, ware 
irepl avTOv tl tcov dirpeircov viroXa^eiv, o)? dpa 
TMV %p>;/iaTft)7' 7TepiexofJ.evo<; ax^P-dTi^erai rd 
rotavra. eyyvQev yap ti)<; eXevOepiorrjro'; avrov 
T) aTroBei^L^i' r)B60)<; i^idTarai tojv Xeiylrdvcov tt}? 
ovaia^ avrov rw TapLieicd' coaTe virohexdrjvai fxev 
avTov TT]v ovaiav, rov he avvi^yopov rov Tapneiov 
Xeyovra 7rpo<i tov<; i7n(f>vo/jievov<; koX diraLTelv rd^ 
d7roSei^ec<;, Std to rj/jLerepov tt/jo? rd roiavra 
dveTTLTJjheiov. efecrrt yap fiadelv rfj reXetoTrjTL 
GOV, OTL €(o<; e^rjv, ov8el<; dirriXOev diroTvydiV cov 
i/SovXero, dXXd to e7ri^y]TOVfievov dirovrjTl eKaaTO^ 
eKOfitaaTO, ware fcal fiera/jieXeLv Tot9 7roXXoi<; 
Blotl [17] irXeov rjrrjaav drr^ ^ dp')(r]<;. o /cal /xdXtaTa 
TToXXou? eTToirjae tou? e7n]pea(7Td<;' Trpo? ydp to 
TCOV 7rpoXaff6pTCi)v vTroBeLy/xa d(pop(ovT€<;, dXXo<; 
dXXov hiahex^'^cLi' o-VKO<f)avTcov. 

II/jo? ovv Tavra Trdvra ti]v arjv aefivoTTjTa ^ 
irapaKaXovfiev arrjvaL, Kal coairep ti pevfjua iirc- 
crx^^^ KCil SiaKoyJ/aL tmv KaKOiv ttjv (ruz^e^etai^. 
olBa^i he OTTco^; (3ori6i]aeL^ tw Trpdyfxari, wcrre fiy] 
dvafjuevetv ^ irap* rjfjLwv hiha^Orivai tov rpoiroVj ol 
hi direipiav tmv tov ^iov Trpay/jbaTcov, Kal avTo 
TOVTo dyvoovfjLev, ttw? dv yevoiTO i^plv Tfj<; diraXXa- 
yrj(; TV')(^elv. Kal crvfi/SovXo^i ovv Kal irpoaTdT-q^; 



LETTER XXXII 

may, by your great sagacity, devise a means of 
relief from these insolent and intolerable annoyances. 

Surely no one is so ignorant of Gregory as to 
suspect him of unseemly conduct, saying that he so 
clings to his money that he invents all these stories. 
Indeed, the proof of his liberality is at our own door : 
he has gladly relinquished the remnant of Caesarius's 
estate to the Treasury ; so that this estate has now 
been received, and it is now the counsel of the 
Treasurer that, dealing with the parasites that cling to 
Gregory, is demanding their proofs, in view of the 
unfitness of men of our class for such business. For 
your excellency should be informed that, while it 
was possible, none of these people departed dis- 
appointed in his wishes ; on the contrary, everyone 
obtained what he demanded without any trouble, so 
that the majority are actually sorry that they did 
not ask for more in the first place. In fact, it was 
chiefly this practice that multiplied the number of 
these insolent men ; for with their eyes on the 
example of the already successful applicants, one 
false claimant succeeded another. 

It is against all these things, therefore, that Ave 
beg your august reverence to take a stand, and first 
to check and then to stop altogether this succession 
of troubles, which flows on like a river. You know 
how you can help the situation, so that you need not 
wait to be informed of the method by us ; for we, 
through our inexperience of worldly affairs, are 
ignorant in just this matter also — of how we are to 
find relief. So become yourself both our adviser and 

^ (TTivoT^rras F, ^ ii'vBplffTuv E. 

^ e'l E, F. * aejjLvoTTp^irnav E. 

, ^ ai'afjLeluai E. 

183 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fjLeyaXrjf; (reavrov (j)pov7]aeco<; i^evpcov.^ 



XXXIII 

^Al3ovpyL(p ^ 

Kal Tt? oi;t&) iraKaiav iraipeiav olBe Ti/juav, 
KoX aperrjv alSelo-Oat, Koi Kdfxvovai Gvva\yelv, 
&)9 aL'TO? av ; iirel ovv rov 6eo(^L\e(TTajov aSeXcpov 
7)/jio)V Tpijyopiov rov iirlaKOTrov KareXa^e irpay- 
liara, ovre aWco<; (popTjra kol fidXccTTa tw ijOec 
avTOV vTrevavTia, eho^ev rjfjblv KpdricTTov elvai iirl 
rr)V ar]V Karacfivyelv irpoaTaaiav kol irapa aov 
TLva 7T€ipa6T]rai^ evpeaOai Xvaiv tmv crvp^^opoiv.^ 
(Tu/JL(j)Opa yap eaTiv d^6pr]T0<i irpdyixara dvay- 
Kd^eaOai Xeyeiv rov pr) 7r€<pvK6Ta pyBe ffovXopevov, 
Kal )(py]paTa dTrairelaOai rov irevrjTa, /cal eX/cecrOac 
eh TO fieaov fcal Sijp^oKOTrelaOai top irdXat Bl' 
rja-vxias tov plov TrapeXOecv KplvavTa. ehe ovv 
T(p K6p.r)TL Tcov Oi-jcravpoiv hiaXex'^ ^wai )(pi](7Lp,ov 
elvai Kpivei'^ etVe TLalv eTepoL<;, t?;? ar]<; av elif 
avveaeo)^. 

^ i^fvplffKuv A, B, C, D. 

2 'AfiovpTLCf) solus Vaticanus. 

3 ir^ipaQrivai om. A, B, 0, D, E. 

^ <Tvfx<pop(ov A, B, C, D, F ; \virr]pcov edd. 

^ Written in 369. Aburgius was an influential lay com- 
patriot of Basil's; cf. Letters XXXIII, LXXV, CXLVIT, 

184 



LETTER XXXIII 

our protector, and by means of your great wisdom 
discover the right form of help. 



LETTER XXXIII 

To Aburgius^ 

And who knows how to honour an old friendship, 
to revere virtue, and to sympathize with those who 
labour, so well as yourself? Accordingly, since our 
brother Gregory^ the bishop, most beloved of God, 
is involved in difficulties, which in any case would 
be intolerable and are particularly uncongenial to 
a man of his character, we have decided that it is 
best to take refuge in your protection and to try and 
find in you some relief from his misfortunes. For it 
is an intolerable calamity that one so disinclined by 
nature or desire should be compelled to plead in 
cases at law, and that one vowed to poverty should 
be dunned for money, and that one who long ago 
determined to pass his life in seclusion should be 
dragged into the open and be practised upon by 
demagogues. Now whether it is the Prefect of 
the Treasury to whom in your judgment it would 
be useful to speak, or other officials, is a question 
that must depend upon your own wisdom to 
determine. 

CLXXVIII, CCCIV, and CXCVI, the latter attributed also 
to Gregory Nazianzene. 

2 This Gregory is clearly Gregory of Xazianzus, mentioned 
in the previous letter, and not Basil's real brother. The 
difficulties referred to are also those described in the previous 
letter. The words rhu ^iriaKoirov have crept into the text 
from the margin. 

185 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 



XXXIV 

^vae^iq) iTTKr/coTTO) ^afioaaTwv ^ 

IIw? av ai(D'Tri]aai[ji,ev eirl rot? irapovaLv ; i], 
TOVTO Kaprepetv fir) Swd/xevot, a^iov nva Xoyov 
TO)v yivojxkvwv €vpoL/jL6v, w<7Te fiT) crT€vay/iw TTpoa- 
eoiKEvai TrjV (ficovrjv -iifxoiv, aXKa 6pr)V(p tov fcuKOv 
TO ffdpo<; dpKovvTco<; hiaarifxalvovTi ; oX^eTai r)fjuv 
Kol 7] Tapa6<;. koI ov tovto /lovov Seivov, KaiTrep 
a^OpTjTOV ov €(JTL JCLp TOVTOV 'x^oXeiTCDTepov 
ttoXlv Toaavryjv, ovtco<; exovcrav €VKaipia<;,^ ware 
'laavpov; Kal KlXiKa^;, KaTTTraSoAra? re Kal ^vpov^ 
Sl €avTrj<; crvvdirTeLV, €vo<; rj Svolv^ dirovoLa'; 
dvOpcoTTcov oXeOpov yeveaOat irdpepyov, fxeWovTcov 
v/jL(ov^ Kal ffovXevo/ievcov /cal tt/oo? dX\7]\ov(; 
aTTOCTKOTrovvTcop. Kpdnarov ovv, Kara ti-jv t(ov 
larpMV iiTivoLav (Trdproo^; Se /jlol ttoWtj dcpOovia, 
Scd rrjv avvoLKOV dppcoariav, rcov tolovtcov irapa- 
heiypdrodv^ oc iireihav to t% 6Svvi]<; pAyedo^ 
vTrep^dXr), dvaLaOijatav tcju ttovcov^ eiTLTe')(ywvTaL 
Tw Kd/jLvopTi, Kal Tat<; r}/jL€T6pat.<; ® avTwv \jrv)(^aL<;, 

^ Sic A, B. vpecr^vTepos tiV hia ttiv Tapcrhv iTTifiovXivojxivriv 
(the writer being presbyter, on account of the plot against 
the see of Tarsus) add. C, D ; Evaefticf} iinaK6ircf -rrpecr^vTepos 
S}V F ; Evffe^LCfi eTriTKo-rrcp irpfa^wv E. 

- evKX-nplas A, B, C, D, E, corr. from euKaipias F. 

3 Si/elv E, F. 

* rj/xwv A, B, corr. from v/xa>v alia m. F. 

^ Twv TrSuccv] rfj iTrivoia C, D. ^ Tjfuwv C, D. 

i86 



LETTER XXXIV 

LETTER XXXI\' 

To EusEuius^ Bishop of S amosata ^ 

How can we keep silent in the present state ot 
affairs? Or, if we cannot endure it patiently, how 
can we find words adequate to what is happening, 
so that our utterances may not be like a groan, but 
like a lamentation, which gives sufficient evidence 
of the weight of one's misfortune ? For us, Tarsus,^ 
even Tarsus, is no more. And this is not the only 
terrible thing, intolerable though it is ; for more 
grievous than this is the fact that so great a city, 
so opportunely situated as to include within its 
borders Isaurians and Cilicians, Cappadocians and 
Syrians, should be given over to destruction as an 
incident of the madness of one or two men, while 
you delayed and deliberated and gazed at one 
another ! Now it would be an excellent thing if 
we should adopt the device of the physicians (and 
I certainly have a great abundance of illustrations 
of this kind, because of the illness from w^hich I 
am never free) ; they, when their patients suffer 
excessive pain, contrive for them an anaesthetic to 
make them insensible of their sufferings ; so we 
should all pray for some analgetic to render our 

^ Written in the autumn of 369 ; cf. Schafer, loc. cit., 
and Loofs, p. 50. 

' Silvanus, Metropolitan of Tarsus, had died, and through 
the neglect of the bishops Avas succeeded b}- an Arian. 
However, the future did not prove to be as gloomy as was 
anticipated ; most of the priests were firm in orthodoxy, and 
remained in friendlv communication with Basil. Cf. Letters 
LXVII, CXIII, CXIV. 

187 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

(w? /JLT] rat<; (j>oprjToi<^ ohvvai^ avve')(eaBai, ava\- 
yrjalav rwv KaKwv avvev^aaOai, ov /jltjv aWa 
Kaiirep ovrco^ aO\Lco<; e^oz^re?, /jllo, irapafivOia 
Kexpi]fieda, 7rp6<; rrjv arjv ainhelv r)fjLep6T7]Ta, koI 
€K TTJ? cr7)<; evvOLa<; koI piv>]pLr}<^ irpavvai Trj<; a/tu^?}? 
TO \v7rov/jL€vov. ojaiTep yap rot? 6(j)0a\/jiot<;, 
eTreiSdv irore avvT6pco<; TaXa/jiTrpa KaraiSXeyfrcoaL, 
(f)ipei Tiva paarcovyjv tt/oo? ra Kvava /calx^odtovra 
Twv xpfopdrcov eTTaveXOelv, ovto) koI Tal<; i^fierep- 
aL<; '\jrv^aL<;, olov^ irpaeld tl<^ iircKpr) to oSwi-jpov 
i^aipovaa, i) fivi^jirj t?]? ai)^ irpaoTT^To^ Kal i/x/ieX- 
eia<; iarl • Kal fidXca-ra orav ivdv/x'tjOoifxev otl to 
KaTo, creavTov dirav eirXi^pwaa^. i^ mv iKava)<; Kal 
rjfuv T0?9 dvdpajiroL^y idv evyvwfxovw^; to, Trpdy/iaTa 
Kpivco/Jiev, o)? ovBev eK ti)^ arj^; alTLa^ aTToXcoXev 
ivehei^co, Kal irapd Sea) rr)? tcov KaXwv TTpoOvfiia^ 
fxeyav aeavTco top fXLadov KaTeKTijaco. y^apiaaiTO 
he ae i)plIv Kal rat? eavTOv iKKXT]aLac<; 6 Kvpi,o<;, eir 
oDcpeXeia tov fiiov Kal Biopdaoaei tcov yj/v)(^o)v ijjjlwv, 
Kal KaTa^icoaeie irdXiv tT/? eirw(peXov<; avpTV)(ia<; 

(TOV. 

XXXV 

' Aveir cypa<po<;, virep AeovTtov 

Hepl TToXXcov fiev &)? Sia(f)€p6vTcov p.oi eireaTeiXd 
(jOLy irepl irXeiovcov Se Kal einaTeXo). ovTe yap 
Tov^ Beo/jLevovf; eTriXiTrelv SvvaTov, ovTe r]fjLa^ 
dpvelaOac tt/v x^P^^ ^^^^ '^^' ^^ /^^l^ eVr/ r^? 



1 88 



LETTER XXXV 

souls insensible of their ills^ so that we may not 
be afflicted with intolerable pains. However, thoiifrh 
we are indeed wretched, we enjoy one single con- 
solation — that we can contemplate your kindness, 
and alleviate the torment of our soul by thinking 
of you and remembering you. For just as the eyes, 
after gazing intently upon glaring objects, obtain 
relief by returning to blues and greens, so also to 
our souls is the memory of your gentleness and 
sense of fitness like a gentle touch that dispels all 
sense of pain ; and this is especially true when we 
call to mind that you fulfilled your whole duty 
within your power. Thereby you have not only 
given us men, if w^e judge the matter fairly, adequate 
proof that no loss has been sustained through your 
fault, but also with God you have gained a great 
reward for your zeal for honourable things. May 
the Lord graciously grant you unto us and unto 
His churches, for the improvement of our lives and 
the amendment of our souls, and may He count me 
worthy of the benefit of meeting you again. 



LETTER XXXV 

Without address, in behalf of Leontius ^ 

I HAVE written to you about many who engage 
my interest, and in the future I shall write about 
still more. For neither can the supply of the needy 
fail, nor is it possible for us to refuse them the 
favour. There is assuredly no one more dear to me, 

^ Written before Basil was made bishop, in behalf of 
Leontius, the sophist, addressed in Letter XXI. 

189 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ol/ceioTepo^i fMOi, ovre fiaWov arairavaai fie icf)* 
oh civ ev Ti iTciOoL ^ BvvufjL€vo<;, rod alSecn/KDraTov 
dSe\(f)ov AeovTiov. ov rrjv olfciav ovtco Sid6€<;, 
ft)? dp el avTov ifie Kara\dl3oi<;,^ fxi] ^ ev rfj irevia 
ravrrjy ev y vvv el/jil avv Sew, aXA,' eviropta^; tivo<; 
e7r€L\7]fMfievov Kal dypov^i KeKTTjpevov. SfjXov yap 
on, ovK dv e7roir)ad<; /xe Trevrjra, dX)C €^v\a^a<; 
dv rd irapovra, rj e7TeT€iva<i rrjv eviropiav. rovro 
ouv TTOLTjcrai ae^ Kal ev rfj rrpoeLprnMevr) jjlol oIklo, 
Tov dvSpo<; irapaKaXovfiev. fJnaOo^ Be aoi virep 
irdvTwv 6 avv7]0r)<; Trap' epLOv, evxv tt/oo? tov 
dyiov ®eov virep 6)V Kd[xveL<;, KaX6<; re Kal 
dyaOo^ wv Kal TrpoXa/i^dvcov Td<; air)]aei<; roiv 
Seo/jiivcov. 



XXXVI 

^Ave7rLypa<j)o<;, em eTTiKOvpla 

'O 7rpea^i)Tepo<^ tov -x^coplov TovSe, ol/xai, otc 
irdXai eyvcoaTai ttj evyeveia aov, oti eaTiv e/iol 
auvTpo(f)o<;. tl ovv dWo Sec fie elirelv 7rpo<; to 
hvawirrjaai aov ttjv ^(pijo-TOTijTa, oIk€[(o<; avTOV 
IBelv Kal ^or)6r)aaL avTw et? Ta irpdyfiaTa ; el 
fiev yap ifie dyai:a<^, coairep ovv dyaiTa<^, StjXovotl 
Kal ov<; dvT epavTOV e^o) dvairavcraL Trdarf 
Svvdfiec TTpoaipfj. tl ovv ecTTiv o TrapaKoXo) ; 
(pvXa'x^drjvaL avTco ttjv iraXaidv d-Koypa^t^v. Kal 

^ -naBoifxi K. - KaraXa^ris C, D. 

2 IXT] om. C, D. * (TOL E. 

^ i.e. administer to his needs ; cf. next letter. 
190 



LETTER XXXVI 

or more able to relieve ^ me witii whatever means 
fortune may bring him, than our most reverend 
brother Leontius. Treat his household as you would 
my own, in case you should find me, not in this 
state of poverty in which I now live with God, but 
seized of some measure of prosperity and in the 
possession of a landed estate. For in that case you 
surely would not reduce me to poverty, but you 
would guard my present possessions, or even in- 
crease my prosperity. This accordingly we beg you 
to do in the case of the aforesaid household of 
Leontius. Your reward for all this will be what 
I am accustomed to pay — a praj'er to the Holy God 
to prosper all your undertakings, inasmuch as you 
are an honourable and upright man, and forestall 
the petitions of the needy. 

LETTER XXXVI 

Without address, asking Assistance ^ 

It has long been known to your noble self, I 
believe, that the presbyter of this place is a foster- 
brother of mine. So what else need I say to induce 
your kind heart to look upon him with favour, and 
to help him in his affairs ? For if you love me, 
as indeed you do, it is, of course, your wish by all 
means in your power to relieve those also whom 1 
regard as my own self. Now what is it that I ask 
of you ? That his old rating ^ be retained for him. 

^ Written at the same time as the preceding, asking that 
special care be taken lest any injustice be done to a friend in 
the valuation of personal property during the impending 
taking of the census. ^ Cf. Justin, Apol. 1. 34. 

191 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

yap Kol /cdfivec ov /jLerptco^; ijfilv vTnjpercbp Trpo? 
Tov /3lov Sia TO 7)fxd<;, &)? avro^ iiTLcrTaaai, fiijSev 
K€KTr]a6aL lSwv, dWa roL<; twv (piXcov Koi 
avyyevoiv apKelaOai?- &)? ovv ijxov oIkov, fxaWov 
8e ct)? eavTOv, ourco Oeacratrov tov dSe\(f)Ov rovSe' 
Kol avrl Trj<; et? avrov ev7roLLa<; Trape^et 0eo9 Kal 
aoi, zeal OLfcw, Kal yevei iravri aov rrjv avvijOi] ^ 
^oyjdsLav.^ jlvcoaKE 8e fiOL iravv i7n/i€\e<; elvai 
fxyjBev eK t^? i^Lcrcoaeco'^ eirrjpeaaOrjvai tov 

dvdpCOTTOV. 

XXXVII 

*Av67r[<ypa(l)o<;, virep crvvTp6(f)ov 

'T(j)opcofiaL XoLTTov t(jc)V iinaToXcov to 7r\y]0o<;. 
l3iaLco(i fiiv, Kal firj (pepcov Trjv i7rd)(^detav TOiv 
diraLTOVVTCov r)/j.a<;, eK(^wvelv dvayKd^o/juar ypd(f)0) 
3' ovv OfjLco<;, dWov diraWayvj'^ Tpoirov iiTLvoelv 
ovK e)(^o)v, rj Sl8ov<; avTol^ ra? eViCTToXa? aiTOvaLV 
€KdaTOT€ Trap' rj/Moyv. ^o^ovfiai toLvvv jjli), 
iTTeiSr] TToWol TrpoaKO/il^ovai, ypdfifiaTa, eh 
Tcov TToWwv vofiLo-Ofi Kal 6 dS€\(j)0(; 6 Secva. iyco 
yap 7roWov<; (piXov; Kal avyyeveh ey^eiv errl Ty]<; 
iraTpiho^ 6/io\oyco, Kal auTo? eh rrjv iraTpiKi-jv 
Td^LV TeTd')(6ai^ Sid to a^t^fjua tovto eh o eTa^ev 
7]fxd<; 6 Ki;/3£09. avPTpocpov Be t?}? Opey^rafievi]^ 

1 KuaBai Y.. 2 (j-yp^0T^ om. C, D. 

' aovTiQr] fiorideiav'] avkriOciav E. 

192 



LETTER XXXVII 

For he labours not a little in administering to our 
necessities, since, as you know, we possess notbin*^ 
of our own, but are content with what our friends 
and relatives provide. I pray you, therefore, to 
regard this brother's household as my own, or rather 
as your own ; and in return for this benefaction 
to him God will grant unto you, your household, 
and all your family His accustomed aid. Be assured 
that it is a matter of grave concern to me that 
the man be not wrongfully treated through the 
equalization of ratings. 



LETTER XXXVII 

Without address, in behalf of a Foster- 
brother ^ 

I AM coming to look with suspicion on the number 
of my letters. Under compulsion and when I can- 
not endure the annoyance of insistent petitioners, 
I am obliged to speak my mind ; but nevertheless 
I do write because I can devise no way of relief 
other than to give them the letters when they 
demand them of me. Consequently 1 am afraid 
that, since there are many who come to you with 
letters, a certain brother of ours may be considered 
one of the many. For I admit that 1 have many 
friends and relatives in my country, and that I 
myself have been appointed to the position of a 
father by reason of this station 2 to which the Lord 
has appointed me. But I have only one foster- 

^ Written at the same time as the preceding. 
* Maran considers this to be not his episcopate but his 
presbyterate. 

193 
VOL. I. O 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fie vlov TOVTOV exoi eva, /cat ev^^o/jiac top olkov ev 
CO averpdcpijv eVl r/}? Ofjioia'^ Karaardcreco'i Sia- 
fielvac, wa fxrj tl ^ i) jravra^ evepyerovaa 67nSr]/jLLa 
Tr)? ai]^ Koa/jii.6T7]TO<; d(f)op/jLi] 7rpo<; Xviriiv ra> 
dvBpl yevrjrai. dXX' iiretSr} ere koI vvv ck tov 
avTov hiarpe^opLai oXkov, ovBev ex^^ t"^^ 
i/jLavTOv, dpKovpL€VO<^ he rot? rayv dyaTrrjrm^, 
irapaKokw ovrw (j>eLaaadaL t)}? olKia<; y iverpd(f)rjv, 
ct)9 ifiol T?}? Tpo(pr)<; rrjv x^prjyiav Siaaco^ovra.^ 
KUL ere 6 0eo9 dvrl tovtcov tt}? alwviov dvairavaeco'^ 
d^Lcoaetev. 

^EiKelvo ye pirjv irdvTcov okrjOearaTOv yivcoafceLV 
(70V Tr]V KOCTfXLoTriTa l3ovXo/xac, ore twv dvBpa- 
TToScov rd TrXelcTTa irap r^piwv vTrrjp^ev avrw 
pLior0o<; ^ TTJ? rpo(f)rj<; r]pL6)v, rcov yovecov r}p.o!)V 
iTapaa)(Ojievwv. 6 he /jli(t6o<; ov iravTe\rj<; eart 
Scoped, ciXXd ^PW^'^ ^^^ l^iov. Mare edv ri jSapv 
irepl avrd yevrjrai, e^eanv avrw 7rp6<; r)/jLd<; 
dTTOTrepLyjrat, koI ecropieOa r)/jL€L<; Bc^ eTepa<; oBov 
virevdwoL reXeafiaai kol diraLTi^Tal^; irdXiv 
yivofxevoL. 

* ri om. C. ^ Btaaw^ova-av E. 

3 i^iadhp C, D. 



194 



LETTER XXXVII 

brother, this man who is the son of the woman 
who nursed me, and I pray that the household in 
which I was brought up may remain at its old assess- 
ment, in order that the sojourn of your modesty, 
which brings benefit to all, may not be an occasion 
of regret for this man. Nay, since I am even now 
supported by this same household, having nothing 
of my own, but depending upon these loved ones 
for succour, I urge you with this thought to spare 
the family in which I was nourished — that by so doing 
you are preserving the source of my present sub- 
sistence. And in return for this may God account 
you worthy of the everlasting rest. 

Furthermore, there is one thing that I want your 
modesty to know as beyond question the truth — 
that most of the slaves belong to this man as a gift 
from us as remuneration for our sustenance, our 
parents having bestowed them upon him. Yet this 
remuneration is not entirely a gift, but merely a 
loan for life. Accordingl}', if anything oppressive 
happens in connection with the slaves,^ he may 
return them to us, and we shall thus by another 
way become liable to assessments and subject to 
tax-gatherers. 

1 i.e. if the assessment is altered on account of the man's 
possession of slaves — an additional argument in favour of the 
petition, for Basil will be the one to suffer b}- the increased 
taxation, 



195 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

XXXVIII 

TprjyopLO) aBe\(f)a) irepi hLa(f)Opd<; ov(7La<; Koi 
v7roaTda€co<; ^ 

^KireL^y] ttoWol, to kolvov t?)? ov(TLa<; ^ eTrl rSiv 

fXVCFTLKWV Boy/jLClTCOP fit] hiaKpLVOVT€'^ CLTTO TOV TCOV 

vTToardaecov Xoyov, raU avral'^ avvefxirlTrTOva-LV 
VTTOvolaL^i, Kal OLOvrac SiacpepeLV firjhev ovalav rj 
viroaraaiv Xeyecv {66ev Kal rjpeae nai tcov 
dv6^6TdcrT0)<; ra TOiavra TrpoaSexop'evoyv, ojairep 
fiiav ovaiav, ovrco Kal filav viroaraaiv Xeyeiv 
Kal TO e/JLwaXLv, ol rd^i rpeU v7roaTda€t<; 7rapaSe')(^- 
ofievoi Kal Tr)v to)V ovaiwv Btaipeaii', Kara rov 
Xaov dpiOfjiov, eK t% 6fio\oyLa^ ravrr}^ Soyfiari^eiv 
otovrai Belvj' Sid rovro co? dv fir] Kal av ra o/xoia 
7rd6oi^,^ iiTTo/jLvrj/jid aoi Sid fipax€0)v rov irepl 
TOVTOV Xoyov 67roirjaa/jLriv, eari tolvvv, co? iv 
oXiy(p 7TapaaT7]aai, rotavTT] rcov Xeyo/jbivcov y 
evvoia. 

TldvT(Ov TOiv ovo/iarcov ra puev ettI TrXeiovcov Kal 
TO) dpiO/jLO) Siacpepovrayv Xeyojieva irpayfidroav 
KaOoXcKcorepav rivd rrjv arj/iaalav e^^et, olov 
dv6p(D7TO<^. 6 ydp rovro elircov, rr}v kolvtjv (^vaiv 
hid rov ovofiaro^ hei^a<^, ov irepiiypa-^e rfj (fxovfj 
rov rLva dvOpcoirov, rov ISlco<; vtto rov 6v6/jLaro<; 
yv(opL^6fi€Vov. ov ydp fidXXov YVerpo^ dvOpwiro^i 

^ Sic C, D, E ; Tpriyoplcf} aZeXcpcf) in marg. -rrcpi Siacpopas ovaias 
Koi vTroaTciaeus A, B ; irphs Tpr}y6piov adeXcphv F. 

2 <t>vaews E. ^ irdOris C, D. 

196 



LETTER XXXVIII 



LETTER XXXVIII 
To Gregory his brother, on teie difference 

BETWEEN SUBSTANCE AND PERSON ^ 

Seeing that many, in treating of the mysterious 
doctrine of the Trinity, because they fail to discern 
any difference between the general conception of sub- 
stance and that of the persons, come to like notions 
and think that it matters not whether they use the 
term ^^ substance" or "person" (and for this reason 
some of those who accept such things without investi- 
gation are pleased to attribute one person to God just 
as they do one substance ; and vice versa, those who 
profess three persons feel obliged to assert as a 
consequence of this truth the same number of 
divine substances ) : for this reason, in order that 
you too may not fall into the same error, I have 
composed this brief discussion of the subject by way 
of a memorandum for you. Now^ the meaning of 
these words, to explain it in brief, is as follows. 

Those nouns Avhich are predicated of subjects 
plural and numerically diverse have a more general 
meaning, as for example '' man." For when you say 
^•'man," you thereby signify the general class, and do 
not specify any man who is particularly known by 
that name. For "man" is no less applicable to 

1 This letter seems to have been written either in 369 or 
370. It is included among the works of Gregory of Nyssa, 
addressed to Peter, Bishop of Sebaste, brother of Basil and 
Gregory of Nyssa. Maran, however, considers it Basil's on 
stylistic grounds. Besides, it was referred to as Basil's at 
the Synod of Chalcedon, and all the MSS. collated likewise 
ascribe it to him. For the theological matters concerned 
herein, cf. Introd. , and also note 1 of Letter VIII. 

197 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

7) ovv KOLvoTi]^ Tov (77] fiaivofievov , o/io/a)9 eVl 
TTavra^; tov<; vtto to avro ovofia r€Tay/jievov<; 
y^copovaa, ^(^peLav e)(€L r?)? viro^Laar6\r]<^, hi r)<; ov 
TOV Kadokov dvOpcoTTOV, dWd tov HeTpov rj tov 
^Icodvvrjv eTrcyvcoao/jieOa. 

Td Se Toiyv ovo/jidTcov ISiKcoTepav e)(^eL ttjv 
evSei^LV, Sc 7;? ou^ t)^ K0Lv6Trj<; t?}? ^ (f)V(J6co<; 
ivdecopeiTaL tw crrjpaivofievo), dWd 7rpdy/JLar6<; 
Tivo^ 7repiypa(f)y], pr)hep.iav e'X^ovaa tt/do? to 
opoyevh, KaTa to Ihla^ov, ti]V KOLVcoviav, olov 6 
TlavXo^, rj 6 TiyLto^eo?. ovk6tl yap r) TOiavTt] 
(j)covT] eVl TO KOLVov T7]<; (pvaecof; (f)ip€Tai, dWd 
'X^cDpiaaaa^ t>}9 iTepikrjiTTLKr}^ crr]iiacria<;, irepiye- 
ypap^pevcov tivcov TrpayfidTcov ep^cpaacv Bid tcov 
ovopdTcov irapiaTrjCTiv. oTav ovv hvo rj Aral 
TrXecovcov KUTd to avro ovtcov, olov TlovXov koi 
^tXovavov Kol Tipo6eov, irepl tt}? oixrla^ t(ov 
dvOpcoTTcov ^rjTTjTaL \6yo<;,ovK dX\ovTL<; dirohoyaei 
T?)? ovaia<; eirl tov TlavXov Xoyov, eTepov he eirl 
TOV XiXovavov, Kal dXXov irrl toO* Tl/jLO0€ov' 
dXXd he 03V dv Xoycov rj ovaia tov YlavXov 
hei'^Ofj, ovTOL Kal Tot? dXXoL<; i(f)app.6(7ovar Kal 
elcTLV dXXijXoL^ opoovaiOL ol tu) avTw Xoyo) ti)? 
ovala^; vTroypacpop^evoi. eTreiBdv Be ti<;, to kolvov 
paOoov, eirl Td IBid^ovTa Tpe\jrrj ttjv Oecopiav, Bl 
oiv x^pu^eTai tov eTepov to eTepov, ovkcti 6 
eKdaTOv yvwpiaTiKO^ X0709 tw irepl tov dXXov 
Bid iravTOiv avvevex^V<^€TaL, Kav ev Tiaiv evpeOfj 
TO KOLVOV e^cov. 

1 ovx v] ovxl C, D, E. 2 ^jj B, D. 

^ X^pVf^'^O'a A. * UavKov \6yov . , . eVl tov om. C, D. 

iq8 



LETTER XXXMII 

Peter than to Andrew, John, or James. I'liis 
common element of the thing predicated, seeing 
that it refers to all alike who are included under the 
same term, demands a further note of distinction if 
we are to understand, not merely man in general, 
but " Peter" or ^Mohn " in particular. 

Other nouns have a very specific denotation, 
whereby it is not the common property of the class 
that is indicated by the term em[)loyed, but rather a 
limitation to a particular thing, this delimitation 
implying no participation in the genus so far as the 
individuality of the object is concerned ; for example, 
^* Paul " or '^'^ Timothy." For such expressions no 
longer have reference to the properties common 
to the nature of the objects, but, by setting apart 
certain delimited objects from the comprehensive 
term, specify what they are by means of these 
names. Now when a name is sought for two 
or more similar objects, as, for example, " Paul," 
"Silvanus," and '^''Timothy," which will indicate the 
substance of these men, you will not apply one term 
to the substance of Paul, but a different one to that 
of Silvanus, and still another to that of Timothy ; 
but whatever terms indicate the substance of Paul 
will apply to the two others as well ; and those who 
are described with reference to their substance by 
the same terms are consubstantial with one another. 
And when you have learnt the common element and 
turn your investigation to the individual character- 
istics whereby tlie one is differentiated from the 
other, then the description which conveys knowledge 
of each will not agree in all respects with that 
which describes the other, even if in certain respects 
it is found to include the element common to all. 

199 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TovTO TOLVvv (pa/xev to lSlo)^ Xeyofievov rw t?)? 
viroarddeo)^ hriXovaOai pij/jLart. 6 yap avdpcoTrov 
eLTToov icrKeSaafjL€vrjv nva Sidvocav tw dopicnui r?)? 
crr)/j,aaLa<; rfj d/cofj iveiroirjcrev, (oare ttjv /xev 
(})vcnv €K Tov ovofjLaro'^ St]Xco6fjvai,, to Se vcpecrTcb^; ^ 
Kal BijXovfievov ihlco<; viro tov ovofiaTO'^ irpayfia 
fjLT) arjixavOrjvaL. 6 he TiavXov eliroiv eSec^ev iv 
Ta> 8r]\ov/jL€vcp vtto tov opofiaTO'^ TTpdyfiaTt, 
ix^eaTwcrav tyjv (fjvcriv. 

TovTO ovv eaTiv rj v7r6(TTaaL<;, ovy^ i) d6pi(TT0<; 
T?}? ovaia<; evvoia, /jbyjSefxlav €k t/J? kolvott^to'^ tov 
arjfjLaivofievov aTuaiv evpiaKOvaa, dX)C rj to 
KOLvov Te Kal dire ply pair tov ev tw tcvI TTpdyfiaTC 
Sid Tcov iiTLcfiaivo/jievcov IhLWjxdTcov TraptaTcoaa Kal 
7r6piypd(f)0vaa' o)? Kal ttj Tpa(f)y avvqOe^ to 

TOLOVTOV TTOtetV, iv dWoi^ T€ TToXXot?, Kal iv TTJ 

KaTa TOV 'IcbyS icTTopla. eTreiBrj yap efieWe ra 
Trepl avTOV hirjyeladai, irpoTepov tov kolvov ^ 

/jLVij/jLOvevaaaa, Kal elirovaa dvdpo)7ro<;, ev6v<^ 

diroTeiMvei tw ^ IScd^ovTC iv ttj irpoaOi'^Kr) tov 

Ti?. dWa T?}? fJLev overlap ttjv vwoypacpyjv, &>? 

ovSev (pepovaav Kephos irpo'^ top irpoKeLfievov tov 

\6yov GKOiTov, iaiooTT^^ae' tov Si Ttva Sid tcov 

^ V(peaT7]K05 C, D. - TOV KOLVOV from TOV Koivhv F. 

2 TO from TU) F. 

^ Basil etjniiologizes here, using "stasis,'* the second 
element in "hypo-stasis," Cf. p. 47, note 1. 



LETTER XXXVIII 

Tliis, then, is our statement of the matter; that 
which is specifically referred to is indicated by the 
expression *^ hypostasis " (person). For if you say 
"man/' by the indefiniteness of the term used you 
have produced in our minds a sort of vague concept, 
so that, although the nature of the thing is indicated 
by the noun, yet the thing which subsists in that 
nature and is specifically indicated by the noun is 
not made evident to us. But if you say "Paul," 
you have indicated by the noun the nature subsisting 
in the particular object. 

This, then, is subsistence or '■ hypostasis " (person). 
It is, however, not the indefinite notion of " ousia " 
(substance), which by reason of the generality of the 
term employed discloses no "sistence";^ it is the 
conception which, by means of the specific notes that 
it indicates, restricts and circumscribes in a particular 
thing what is general and uncircumscribed, as is 
shown in many examples in Scripture and in the 
story of Job.'^ For as he begins the narration ot 
his experience, he first mentions the general and 
common term, saying " a man/' and immediately 
afterwards cuts off a portion by specifying the 
individual and adding the word "certain." But as 
to the description of the substance he says nothing 
at all, feeling that it contributes nothing to the 
object of his discussion ; but the " certain " person 

^ Cf. Job 1. 1-2: "PLvdpwTTOs rts ^v iu x<*>P^ "^V AucrTtSt ^ 
uvofxa 'lw$- Kal fiu 6 a.vdpci>Tros iK^luos aXrjOii'OS, &fX€jXTrTos, S'lKaios, 
6eo(TefiT]S, air^x^u^vos airh iravrhs irovrjpov Trpdy/uLaTO^, ^yh'ovro 
Se avTif viol k-Kra koI Bvyar4p^s rpus, etc. " There was a man 
in the land of Hus, whose name was Job, and that man was 
simple and upright, and fearing God, and avoiding evil. 
And there were born to him seven sons and three daughters," 
etc. 

20I 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

oiKeicov yvcopLa-fidrcov ^(^apaKTrjpil^eL, kol tottov 
Xiyovcra koI ra rod 7]6ov<; yvaypia/xara, Kal oaa 
TMV e^coOev avixirapaXi-jc^OevTa p^coyotfeiz^ avrov Kal 
cK^icrrav efieWe^ t»)? KOLvrj<; cr77/Aacrta?' ware hia 
TrdvTWv ivapyi] rod laropov/xevov yeveadav 
Tr]v v7roypa(f>y]V, e/c rod ovofiaro^, e'/c rod tottov, 
Ik TOJv rr}<; ^vxrj<; ISicop^drcov, eK rcov e^coOev irepl 
avTOV Oewpovpbkvwv. el he top t?}? ovaia^ iSiSov ^ 
XoyoVy ovBepLLa av eyevero rcov elpr^pAvwv ev rf) 
tt}? (^ycreo)? eppLrjveia p.V)]p.r)' 6 yap avTO<; av r)V 
Xoyo'^, 09 Kal eirl rod BaXSaS rov ^av)(^iTov ^ Kal 
'Eocj)dp rod ^Uvvalov Kal e(f) eKaarov rwv i.-cel 
pLvrj/jLovevOevTcov dvOpooircov. 

'Ov Toivvv ev T0t9 KaO^ r)/jLa<; eyvco<; hia<j)opd<; 
\6yov eiri re rfj<; ovaia<i Kal r?)? vTroaTdaeco'i, 
TOUTOV /jLerarcdeh fcal eirl tcov delcov Soyfjudrcov, 
ov)(^ d/j.apTy]aeL<;. ttco? * to elvac tov Ylarpo^;, 6 tl 
iTore vTTOTlOeTai crov ^ rj evvoia {7rpo<; ovhev yap 
ecTTLV diroTeTaypukvov ^ vorfpa tt]v y\rv)(r)V eirepei- 
heiv, hia TO ireirelaOai avro virep irdv elvau vorjp^a), 
tovto Kal eVt rod Tlov vorjCFeL<;, rovro 0DaavTco<; 
Kal eirl rov Hvevfiaro^; rod dylov. 6 yap rod 
aKTiarov Kal rov dKaraXjjTrrov X0709, el(; Kal 6 
auTO? eiTi re rov ITaT/^o? Kal rov Tlov Kal rov 
dylov Hvev/jLaro^; eariv. ov yap ro fiev pudWov 

^ eyueAe P^, ij/ieWe D. ^ iOT]Kov E. ^ Avxirov A, B. 

* aixapTTjaeis. irws] a/j.dpT7}s e? nws C, D. ttws] uis A. 
s aoi C, I). 



^ Cf. Job 2. 11 : ^AKoixravTCS 5e ol rpe^s (piKoL aiirov ra KaKO. 
iravTa to iireKdSvTa avr^, Trapeyevovro eKatrTos ck ttjs ISias 

202 



LETTER XXXVIII 

he characterizes by tlie peculiar notes whicli identify 
him, mentioning both a place, the marks which 
reveal his character, and all such external adjuncts 
as will differentiate him and set him ajiart from the 
general idea. Consequently, by all these means — 
the name, the j^lace, the peculiar qualities of his 
character, and his external attributes as disclosed 
by observation — the description of the subject of 
the story becomes explicit. But if he had been 
giving an account of the substance, there would have 
been no mention of the aforesaid things in his 
explanation of its nature ; for the same terms would 
have been used as in describing Baldad the Sauhite, 
Sophar the Minnaean, and each of the men mentioned 
in the narrative.^ 

Accordingly, if you transfer to divine dogmas the 
principle of differentiation which you recognize as 
applying to substance and person in human affairs, 
you will not go astray. In whatever manner and 
as whatever thing your mind conceives of the sub- 
stiince of the Father (for it is of no avail to press 
upon a spiritual thing a definitely prescribed con- 
ception, because we are sure that it is beyond all 
conception), this you will hold for the Son also, and 
likewise for the Holy Ghost. For one and the 
same conception of Being Uncreated and Incompre- 
hensible is to be attributed to the Father and to 
the Son and to the Holy Ghost. For one cannot 

Xc^pas TTphs avrSv, 'EAetc^a^ 6 Qaifxavwv fiaaiXfvs, BaA5o5 6 
'S.avxaiooi^ rvpauvos, "Xcccpap 6 Mavaiwv fiacnXcvs. "Now when 
Job's three friends heard all the evil that had befallen 
him, the}' came every one from his own place, Eliphaz the 
Themanite, and Baldad the Suhite, and Sophar the 
Naamathite." 

203 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aKaraXtjTTTov re Kal d/CTicrrov, to Se tjttov. iirei ^ 
he XPV ^^^ '^^^ IhLa^ovTwv arj/jLCicov davy^^vrov 
iirl Tfj<; Tpi,dBo<; rrjv BiaKpiaiv e')(^eiv, to jxev 
KOLvS)^ iindecopov/jLevov, olov to uKTcaTOv Xiyco, 
rj TO virep Trdcrav KaTaXrj-yjrLv, i) et tl tolovtov, ov 
av/jLTrapaXrjyjrofxeda 6t? ttjv tov Ihtd^ovTO^; Kpiacv, 
eTTL^riTijao/jLev Be pLovov, Bl mv rj irepl e/cacTTOu 
evvoLa Trj\avyo)<i Kal dfxi/CT(0<; rr)? avv6ea)povpLevrj<; 
d(f>opia6r]aeTai. 

KaXw? ovv e')(^eLv pLoc BoKel ovt(o<; dvi')(yevaaL 
TOV \6yov. irdv oirep dv et? r}pid<; eK 6eia<; 
BvvdpLeax; dyaOov (fiOdcrr], t>}9 TrdvTa ev irdaiv ^ 
evepyova7j<; ')(dpiTO<; evepyeiav elval (papLev KaOco^ 
(pTjacv 6 diroaToXo^;, oti TavTa Be irdvTa evepyel 
TO ev KOI TO avTo Ilvevpa, Biaipovv IBia exdaTO) 
Kadd><; /SovXeTai. ^y]TovvTe<; Be el Ik pLovov tov 
dyiov UvevpLaTO^ 7) tcov dyaOoiv yopr^yla ti]v 
dpyr]v Xapovaa ovtco TrapaytveTac Tot9 d^ioL^, 
irdXiv vTrb Tri<; Tpa(f)rj<; 68r]yovpLe9a et? to t?)? 
')(^oprjyia<^ twv dyaOwv tcov Bid tov TlvevuaTO<^ 
r)pblv evepyovpLevcov dp')(riyov Kai ah tov tov pLOVO- 
yevf] Seov elvai iriaTeveiv. irdvTa yap Bl avTOv 
yeyevrjaOai, Kal ev avTw avveorTdvat, irapd t?}? 
dy'ia^ Tpa(pr]<; eBtBd-)(^drjpiev. oTav tolvuv Kal 
7r/909 eKeivrjv vy^wOwpiev T7]v evvoiav, ttoXlv vtto 
T^9 OeoTTvevaTov yeipaywyia'^ dvayop^evoi BiBacrK- 
opeOa, OTC Bl €Keiv'r]<; pLev irdvTa t>}9 BvvdpLe(o<; eK 

^ e'-TTSiSTj F. 2 eV Traaiv om. C, D. 

1 1 Cor. 12. 11. 

^ Of. John 1. 3 : Travra 5i' avrov iyevero^ Koi X'^P'S avrov 
iyeviTo ov5e eV, t yeyoveu. " All things were made by Him : 

204 



LETTER XXXVIII 

be said to be more ineoni})rehensible and uncreated 
and tlie other less. But since we must use the 
words which individualize the three in order that 
we may keep free from confusion the distinction we 
shall make when dealing witli the Trinity, with this 
aim in view we shall not include in our discussion 
of the individualizing element any general specula- 
tion, such as the quality of being uncreated, beyond 
comprehension, and so forth, but we shall investigate 
only those qualities by which the conception of each 
person in tlie Trinity will be conspicuously and 
sharply marked off from that which results from 
the study of all three together. 

Now the best way to follow up the discussion 
seems to be this. Every blessing which is bestowed 
on us by power divine we say is the working of 
the Grace which worketh all things in all ; as the 
Apostle ^ says, " But all these things one and the 
same Spirit worketh, dividing to everyone according 
as he will." But if we ask whether from the Holy 
Ghost alone this supply of blessings taketh its origin 
and cometh to those who are worthy, we are again 
guided by the Scriptures to the belief that the 
Only-begotten God is the source and cause of the 
supply of blessings which are worked in us through 
the Spirit. For we have been taught by the Holy 
Scripture 2 that all things were made by Him and 
in Him cohere. Then when we have been lifted 
up to that conception, w^e are again led on by the 
divinely-inspired guidance and taught that through 
this power all things are brought into being from 

and without Him was made nothing that was made." Cf. 
also Col. 1. 17: koX uvtSs icn irph irdvTwv, Koi ra iravTU iv 
auT(f (Tvv4aTr]Ke. "And He is before all, and by Him all 
things consist." 

205 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Tov fir] ovTO^ eh to elvai Trapdyerar ov firjv ovhe 
ef €Kelvi]<i civdpxf^^' ccWd ri? eVrt SvvafiL^ 
d'yevv7]Tco<; koX dvdp-)(^(o<; ix^earwaa, rjTL<^ iarlv 
ahia rrj^ dirdvrwv to3v ovtwv alria^;. i/c yap rov 
Uarpo^ 6 Tf09, 3^' ov to. Trdvra, c5 Trdvrore to 
Uvev/J-a TO dyiov d)^ci)pL(7Tco<; avveirivoetTai. ov 
yap eaTiv ev irepivola tov Tlov yeveaOai, fir) 
irpoKaTavyaadevTa tco TlvevfiaTi. iireihri toivvv 
TO dyiov Tivevfia, dcf)' ov Trdaa iirl Tifv KTiaiv i) 
TCdv dyaOoiV yoprfyia irijyd^ei, tov Tlov fiev 
7]pTT]Tai,, cS aSiao-Taro)? avyKaTaXafi/SdveTar ttj^ 
he TOV liaTpo^ auTia^ e^iffifievov'^ e^ei to elvat, 
oOev Kal eKiropeveTai' tovto yvcopiaTiKov t>5? 
KaTa Trjv vrroaTacnv lSt,6Tr]T0<; (jrjfielov e^et, to 
fieTCL TOV Tlov Kal avv avTw yvcopi^eaOat, Kal to 
eK tov TiaTpo^ v^eaTavai. 

'O he T/09, TO eK TOV naT/309 eKiropevofievov 
Uvevfia 8t' eavTOv Kal fieO' eavTOv yvcopi^ayv, 
fjL6vo<; fiovoyev6)<^ eK tov dyevvrfTOV ^coto? 
eKXdfJLyjra^, ovhefiiav, KaTa to Ihia^ov tmv 
yvwpLafJLaTcov, ttjv KOLVcoviav e'xei tt/jo? tov 
HaTepa rj Trpo? to Uvevfia to dyiov, dWa rot? 
€lpy]fievot<; (77] fjL6Lot<; fiovo'; yvcopl^eTai. 6 Be eirl 
irdvTcov Qe6<;, e^aipeTov tl yvcopiafia tt}? eavTOV 
viToaTdaew^, to UaTrjp elvai, Kal Ik firfhefiid^ 
aLTia^ vTToaTrjvaL, jxqvo^ ^'%€f Kai hid tovtov 
ird\Lv tov arjfieiov Kal avTo<; l8ia^6vTO)<; eiriyivd)- 
(TKerac. tovtov eveKev ev ^ Trj t^? ovaia^ koivo- 
TTjTt davfi^aTd (pafiev elvai Kal dKoivcovrjTa to, 
eTTiOecopovfieva ttj TpidSi yvcoplafiaTa, 8t o)V rj 
IBi6t7)<; irapiaTaTai tmv ev ttj iriaTeL irapaBeho- 

1 i^-npT-n/jLcvov Cj D. 2 iir\ E. 

206 



LETTER XXXVIII 

not-being ; not, however, even by tliis power witli- 
out a beginning ; nay, there is a power w hich exists 
without generation or beginning, and this is the 
cause of the cause of all things that exist. For the 
Son, by whom all things are, and with whom the 
Holy Spirit must always be conceived as inseparably 
associated, is of the Father. For it is impossible for 
a man, if he has not been previously enlightened 
by the Spirit, to arrive at a conception of the Son. 
Since, then, the Holy Spirit, from whom the entire 
supply of blessings gushes forth to creation, is united 
with the Son and with Him is inseparably produced. 
He has His being attached to the Father as a cause, 
from whom indeed He proceeds. He has this 
distinguishing note characteristic of His person, 
that He is produced after the Son and with 
Him and that He has His subsistence from the 
Father. 

As for the Son, 'who through Himself and with 
Himself makes known the Spirit which proceeds 
from the Father, and who shines forth as the only- 
begotten from the unbegotten light, He in the 
matter of the individual tokens which distinguish 
Him has nothing in common with the Father or 
with the Holy Spirit, but alone is recognized by the 
note just named. And God, who is over all, alone 
has an exceptional note of His person, in that He is 
Father and proceeds from no other principle ; and 
by this note again He is also recognized individually 
Himself. Therefore we assert that in the com- 
munity of substance there is no accord or community 
as regards the distinguishing notes assigned by faith 
to the Trinity, whereby the individuality of the 
persons of the Godhead, as they have been handed 

207 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fievcov TrpocTMTTcov, eKaarou rol^ l8ioi<; yvcopla^aai 
BcaK€KpLfjL€vco<; KaTa\a/jL/3avo/jLevov' coare Bia rcov 
€lpr]/jL6vcov a7]/jL€Lcov TO Kex^^pt'f^/^^vov T03V viroarda- 
ewv i^evpedrjvai' Kara Be to aireLpov, kol 
aKaTakr]TTTOv, koI to aKTL<TT(o<; elvai, fcal firjBevl 
TOTTW 7r6pc6L\y](f)dat, Koi rraai toI<; toiovtol<;, 
fjuySe/iLav elvai irapaWayi-jV iv ttj ^(dottoim (pvaec, 
iirl IlaTpo? Xeyco Kal Tiov Kal TivevpLaTO<; ayiov 
aXXd TLva avvexv '^^^ dBLaaTraaTOv KOLvcoviav iv 
avTol^ dewpelaOai. fcal Bl* a)v dv ti<; votj/jlcltcov 
TO fieyaXelov evo^; tli>o<; tcop iv ttj dyia TpidBi, 
TTLaTevo/jLevcov KaTavo7](r€L€, Bid twv avTcov^ irpoa- 
e\ev(T€Tai, diTapaWdKTW^, iirl YlaTp6<;, Kal Tlov, 
Kal Uv€v/jLaTO<; dyiov Trjv Bo^av ^XeTrwv, iv ovBevl 
BtaXei/jL/jLaTt fJusTa^v YiaTpo<^ koi Tlov Kal dyiov 
IIvev/jLaTO<; tt)? Bt,avoia<; K€V6fi^aT0var}<;. Blotl 
ovBev icTTL TO Bid fieaov tovtcov Trapeveipofievov, 
ovT€ TTpdyfia v(p€aTa)<; dWo tl irapd ttjv Oeiav 
(f)v<7iv, CO? KaTa/iepi^ecv avT-qv 7Tpo<; eavTrjv Bed 
T?}? Tov dWoTpiov 7rap6/jL7rT(joa6co<i BvvaaOat, ovtg 
BLaaT7]/jLaT0<s tlvo<; dvvTroaTdTOv Kev6T7)<;, tjtl^ 
Kexv^ivcif' ^ TTOtel Tr}<; 6eia<^ ovaia^i Tr}v 7rpo<; eavTrjv 
dp/xovlav, TTJ 7rap€vOi]K7] tov kevov to crui'e^e? 
BiaaTeWovaa. aXX,' o tov UaTepa V07]aa<;, avTov 
Te i(f>' eavTOv ivovjae, Kal tov Tlov ttj Btavola 
av/jLTTapeBe^uTO' 6 Be tovtov \a/3cdv tov Tlov to 
Ylvev/u.a ^ ovk dire/jLepLaev, dX)C ukoXovOco^; fjuev, 
KaTd TTJV Ta^LV, (Tvvr]/i/jLev(o<; Be, KaTd ttjv (f)vaiv, 

* 5ia Toou avTu)v from St' avrwv alia m. F. 

^ Kexv^O'i^O''' F. 

^ rhv Trarepa from rh Uvev/uia alia m. F. 

208 



LETTER XXXVIII 

down in our faith, is made, known to us, for each 
is ap})rehended separately by means of its own 
particular distinguishiiii;- notes. It is by means of 
the marks just mentioned that the distinction of the 
Persons is ascertained ; but regarding attributes 
denoted by the terms infinite, incomprehensible, 
uncreated, uncircumscribed by space, and all others 
of like nature, there is no variation in the life-giving 
nature — I mean in the case of the Father, or of the 
Son, or of the Holy Spirit — but a certain continuous 
and uninterrupted community appears in them. 
And through whatever processes of thought you 
reach a conception of the majesty of any one of the 
three persons of the Blessed Trinity in which we 
believe, through these same processes you will arrive 
invariably at the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, 
and gaze upon their glory, since there is no interval 
between Father and Son and Holy Spirit in which 
the intellect will walk in a void. The reason is 
that there is nothing which intrudes itself between 
these persons, and that beyond the divine nature 
there is nothing which subsists that could really 
divide it from itself by the interposition of some out- 
side thing, and that there is no void, in the form of an 
interspace in which there is no subsistence, between 
the three Persons, which could cause the inner 
harmony of the divine essence to gape open by 
breaking the continuity through the insertion of 
this void. But he who has conceived the Father, 
and conceived of Him apart by Himself, has at the 
same time mentally accepted the Son also ; and he 
who lays hold of the Son does not dismember the 
Spirit from the Son, but in due sequence, so far as 
their order is concerned, yet unitedly, as regards 

209 

VOL. I. p 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Twv rpicov Kara ravrov avyfce/cpafjLevjjv iv eaurcp 
T7]v iriaTLv dveTvircoaaro. Kal 6 to UveOfMa fiovov 
eliTcov crv/jL7repi6\a^6 Trj ofjuoXoyia ravrr) Kal rov 
ov iarl ro Uvevfia. kol eireihr) rov ^ptarov 
iarl TO Hveufia, kol i/c tov 0eoO, KaOco^ (jiijaLV 6 
Tlav\o<;,^ coairep i^ aXvaew^; 6 tov €vo<; cLKpov 
a-^dfievo^ /cat to eTepov ciKpov (JweireaTrdaaTO, 
ouTco? 6 TO Ylvevfia eXKvaa'^, Ka6ai<^ (fyrjacv 6 
7rpo(pi]T7]<;, 8l'' avTOV Kal tov Tiov Kal tov 
UaTepa ^ avvec^eCkKvaajo. Kal el tov Tiov 
d\')]6ivoj<; Ti? \d,8oi, efet avTOV eKaTepwdev, tttj 
[xev TOV kavTov UaTepa, tttj Be to lSlov Ylvevfia 
avveTrayopLevov. ovTe yap tov IlaT/jo? o del iv 
T(p TlaTpl ojv d7roT/Jii]di]vat SwyjaeTac, ovtc tov 
Uvev/iaTO^; iroTe hLa^ev)(9i]aeTai tov lSlgv 6 
irdvTa iv avTW ^ ivepyojv. ojcravTM^; 8e Kal 6 tov 
UaTepa Se^dfievc; Kal tov Tiov Kal to Tlvevpa 
av/jLTrapehe^aTO ttj Swdfj^ei. ov yap eaTiv iiri- 
voTjaaL TO/xrjv rj Biaipeaiv kot ovheva Tpoirov, co? 
t)^ Tiov X&)/))9 HaTyoo? vorjOrjvaL, r) to Uvev/ia 
TOV Tiov hLa^ev^Orjvar dWd ti<; dppi)TO<^ Kal 
dKaTav6')]To^ iv tovtol<; KaTaXa/x/SdveTac Kal r) 
KOivcovia Kal i) BidKpLai^i, ovTe ttj? tmv viroaTdaewv 
hia(popd^' TO Trj<; (f)vaeQ)<; avve'^k^ Siaa7rQ)(7ri<^, ovtb 
tT;? KaTCi Ti]v ovaiav koiv6t7)to<; to ISia^ov tcov 
yicopLa/jidTCOv dva'^eovay]'^. /jlt) 6 av fida rj<:; he el 

^ airoaroXos C, 1), F. 

- Thv TTo-repa from to Trvev/xa alia m, F. 

3 iv avT^ om. C, D. * ^ om. A, B. 

^ Cf. Rom, 8. 9 : et 5e ns •nvdvjj.a Xpiarov ovk exet, qvtos 
ovK i(TTiv avTov. *' Now if any man have not the Spirit of 
Christ, he is none of his." Cf. also 1 Cor. 11. 12 : uairep yap 

210 



LETTER XXXVIII 

their natures, forms within himself an image of the 
faith that is a blending of the three in the same 
way. And he who has mentioned the Spirit alone 
has embraced with It in this confession also Him 
of whom the Spirit is. And since the Spirit is of 
Christ and from God, as Paul ^ says, just as he who 
grasps one end of a chain pulls along with it the 
other end also to himself, so he who draws the 
Spirit, as the prophet ^ says, through the Spirit 
draws both the Son and the Father along with It. 
And if you truly lay hold of the Son, you will hold 
Him on two sides, on the one where He draws His 
Father to himself, and on the other where He 
draws His own Spirit. For neither will He who 
eternally exists in the Father by any possibility be 
cut off from the Father, nor will He who works all 
things in the Spirit ever be disjoined from the 
Spirit which is His own. In like manner he who 
accepts the Father virtualh' accepts along with 
Him the Son and the Spirit also. For it is impos- 
sible in any manner to conceive of a severance or 
separation whereby either the Son is thought of 
apart from the Father or the Spirit is })arted from 
the Son ; but there is apprehended among these 
three a certain ineffable and inconceivable com- 
munion and at the same time distinction, with 
neither the difference between their persons dis- 
integrating the continuity of their nature, nor this 
community of substance confounding the individual 
character of their distinguishing notes. Do not 

7] ywT] iK rov avBpSs, ovtw Kal 6 avrip 5ia rris ywaiKOs, to. 5e 
TTOivTa e'/c Tov 6eov. " For as the woman is of the man, so also 
is the man by the woman : but all things of God." 

^ A misinterpretation, perhaps intentional, of Psal. 110. 
131 : uKKvaairvevfia. " I drew breath," " I panted." 

211 

p2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TO avTo Kal avvyjfMfievov Kal BiaK6KpL/jL€vop elvai 
(j)a/jL€v,^ Kai Tiva iircvoov/jiev, oiairep iv alviy/iarc, 
Kaivrjv Kal TrapciSo^ov Sid/cpialv re avvij/jL/jLevijv 
Kal BLaK€Kpi/j,€VJ]V avvd(f)eiav. el yap firj t^§ 
ipLcnLKO}<; Kalirpo'^ eTTi]peLav clkovol rovXoyov, Kal 
iv rot? aia6)]roL(; Svvarov ian to tolovtov eupelv. 
Kat p,ov he^aaOe tov \6yov &)9 vTroSeiy/xa Kal 
aKiav dXi]0€La<;, ov^ o)? avrrju rrjv tcov irpayp.d- 
Tcov aKi'-jOeiav ov yap Bvvarov iari Sia ttuvtcov 
i(j)appoaOi]vac ^ to iv tol<; VTroSeLyfiaaL Oecopov- 
pevov Tot9 TTpo? a i) tojv VTroBeLyp^aTcov ')(peia 
TTapaXapb^dveTaL. TToOev ovv (papev to SiaKCKpi- 
pievov dpa Kal avva(j)e<;^ e'/c r&jz^ KaTa t^i^ 
aia6)]cnv ijfxlv 7TpO(f)aivop.€vo)v dvaXoyt^ecrOaL ; 
7]Si] TTOTe TOV iv TTj v6(f)6Xr} To^ov TT]v Xap,7r7]h6va 
KaTCL TO eap TeOeaaai, iKelvo Xeyco to to^ov, oirep 
6 KOLvo<; X0709 'ipLv eicoOev iirovopd^eiv 6 (paaiv 
ol 7T€pl TavTa Sewol ToTe avvidTaaOaL, OTav 
dvaK6KpapLevi] Ti? -p TTyoo? TOV depa votl*;, t/)? tcov 
TTvevpLaTcov filaf; to iv toc<; dTpL0L<i vypov Kal 
irayvy ve(f)a)Be<; ijBy] yevopevov, et? vstov clttO' 
6XL^ovari<;. avvicTTacrdaL Be Xeyovaiv oi/to)?. 
iireiBdv 1) tov 7]Xlov dKTL<;, kutcl to irXdyuov 
vTToBpapLOvaa to ttvkvov re Kal avvr)pe(^e<; T)]<; 
ve(f)(i)(Teco<;, elTa KaTa to evOv vecj^et tlvI tov lBlov 
kvkXov ivaTrepeiarjTaL, olov tc<; KapLirr) Kal iirdvo- 
Bo<; TOV ^a)TO? tt/jo? eavToyiveTai, Trj<; avyi)^ 7rpo<; 
TO epiraXiv diro tov vypov re Kal (JtiX^ovto<; dva- 
Xvovari<^. iireiBr} yap <f)vaL<; iaTL TaU (f)Xoyot)Be(Ti 

^ €<pa^€v A, B. ^ i(pap/j.6aaa6at F. 

^ crvvcpues E ; (rujjL(pv€s A, B, C, D ; <Tvvfx(pv€i from covafis 
alia m. F. 

212 



LETTER XXXVIII 

marvel if we assert that the same thing is both 
joined and separated^ and if, as though s})eaking in 
riddles, we devise a strange and paradoxical sort 
of united separation and disunited connection. 
Indeed, unless you are listening to what I say in 
a contentious and spiteful spirit, even among things 
perceptible to the senses a similar phenomenon may 
be found. 

Accept my words as an illustration merely and 
adumbration of the truth, not as the very truth of 
the matter; for it is impossible that the object 
which is observed in illustrations should agree in 
every respect with that to explain which tiie use 
of illustrations is resorted to. Why, then, do we 
say that that which is disunited and at the same 
time connected can be inferred by analogy from 
things which appear to our sense-perceptions ? 
Now and then in spring-time you have seen in the 
cloud the lustre of the bow ; that bow, I mean, 
which common parlance is wont to call the " Iris" 
or rainbow. Those who are skilled in such matters 
say that it is formed only when certain moisture is 
mixed with the air, the force of the breezes pressing 
the moist and dense portion of the vapours, this 
portion having already become cloudy, into rain. 
They say that the process of formation is this. 
When the sunbeam, intercepting obliquely the com- 
pact and opaque portion of the cloudy mass, then 
causes its own circle to impinge in a straight line 
upon a particular cloud, there occurs a sort of 
bending of the light and its return upon itself, for 
the sunlight returns in the opposite direction from 
what is moist and shiny. For since it is in the 
nature of flame-like flashes of light, when they fall 

213 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

/jtapfiapvyaU, et tivl Xetco irpoaireaoLeVy'^ irpo^ 
eavTCL^i TToXiv iiravaKXaaOaiy fcvK\oTepe<; Se rov 
i)\iov 2 TO axn/^ci, TO Sea Tr]<; aKTiVo<; iv rw vypa> 
re Kol \el(p rov aepo^ yivofxevovy e'f avdyf€rj<; Kara 
TO a')(rjiJLa rov rjXiaKov kvkXov ^ koI 6 Traparcei- 
fi€vo<^ Tft) v6(f)eL drjp Sid, t?}? diToaTi\(3ovari<; avyrj<; 
TT€piypd(^eTai. avryj tolvuv t) avyrj koI (jvve)(r)<; 
ecTTL TTpo^ eavTTjv KoX hLrjprjTai. TToXvxpoo^ * yap 
Tt? ovaa Kol 'TTo\veiSrj<^y d(^avo)<^ TOt? ttolklXoi^; 
dvOeai T7]<; ffacf)!]^ tt/jo? iavrj-jv KaraKipvaTai tmv 
erepoXpoovvTcov rijv 7rpo<; dWrjXa crv/M^oXrjv €k 
Tcov oyjrecov tj/jloov Kara to XeXrjdo'^ vTroKXeTrrovaa'^ 
ft)? fiTj dv iiriyvwcrOrivaL rov yXavKov irpo'^ to 
irvpavyh rov Bid fiecrov tottov tov fjnyvvovTa ® 8i 
eavTov Koi ')((opi^ovTa Tr)v to)v '^(pocov eTepoTrjTa, 
i) TOV 7rvpavyov<; Trpo? to iropc^vpeov, rj eKsivov 
7rpo<; TO r]XeKTpivov. iravTcov ydp al avyal Kara 
TavTov opcofievai koI Tr)Xavy€L<; elal, koi tt)? 77/309 
dXX7]Xa<; avva<j)6La<; rd arjfxela KXeTTTOva-ac, tou? 
iXeyxov'^ eK^evyovcnv,'^ 009 dpn^-yavov i^evpelv 
/Jie^^pi TLVo<; 6(TTTjK6 TO TTVpcoSe^; Tj TO a jjLapdyhi^ov 
T7]^ alyXr]^, koI diro tlvo<^ dp^eTai /jbrjKeTi, tolovtov 
elvai, olov iv tm TrjXavyet KaOopaTai. 
"VlaTTep Toivvv iv tw vTroBeiyfiaTi koX Ta9 tmv 

^ Trpoaireaeiev C. 

2 TOV T]\iov] TOVTO A, B, C, D, E ; TOVTO frOlTl T)\ioV aUsL HI. F. 

^ KaTo. TO axvfJ-o. tov rjXiaKov kvkKov in marg. alia m. F ; tov 

KVkXoV tov T]\iaKOV C, D. 

* TToXvxpoojxos A, D, E. ^ vireKKKeiTTOvaa A, B. 

^ fXfyvivTa E, F. ' (p^vyovaiv E. 

214 



LETTER XXXVIII 

on something smooth, to recoil again upon them- 
selves, and since the shape of the sun \vhich is 
formed by the ray in the damp and smooth part of 
the air is circular, necessarily then the air also which 
is adjacent to the clouds is outlined by the reflecting 
brilliancy in conformity with the shape of the sun's 
disc. Now this brilliancy is both continuous with 
itself and separated. For although it is of many 
colours and multiform, imperceptibly it becomes 
intermingled with the various hues of the dyer's 
art, stealing unawares from our sight the point of 
mutual juncture of the various colours. Conse- 
quently we cannot possibly discern between the 
blue-green and the yellow the intervening space 
which both mingles together and separates the 
two different colours, or between the yellow and the 
purple, or between the purple and the amber. For 
when the rays of all the colours are seen together, 
they are both distinct and yet at the same time 
filch from our view the })oints of their juncture with 
one another, and they elude our scrutiny, so that it 
is impossible to discover how far the red or the 
green portion of the radiance extends, and at what 
point it begins to be no longer what it is observed 
to be in the distinct portion.^ 

Just as, therefore, in the illustration we distinguish 

^ Basil seems to be ignorant of the order of the colours 
of the spectrum, for though he places " j'ellow " {irvpavyis, 
"flame-colour") between "blue-green"' {yXavKSv) and 
"purple" (or. "red," 'jrop(pvp€ov), he places "purple" or 
''red" between "yellow" and "amber" {vAeKTpivov), 
whereas "amber," which ought to correspond to our 
"orange," is really between "yellow" and "red." But 
the Greek terms for the colours are vague, and no one of 
the equivalents used in the translation is really certain. 

215 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

')(^p(o/JLdrcov hia^opa^ (^avepw^ BiaycvcoaKO/jLev, Kal 
Siciaraa-iv krepov iTpo<^ to erepov ovk eari rfj 
aladrjaei KaraXa/SeLV,^ ovtco ixol \6ytcraL ^ hvvarov 
elvai Kal irepl royv Oeiwv hoy/idrcov dvaXoyuaaadar 
Ta9 fiev TMV viroarddecov Ihiorr^ra^i, wairep tl 
dv6o<; Twv Kara rrjv IpLV (pawo/jLevcov, eTraarpdir- 
T€iv^ eKaaTG) roiv iv rfj dyia TptdSc Tnarevo- 
/jLevcov r/j? Be Kara rrjv (pvaiv lSi6Tr]T0<; iMr]hepiLav 
erepov tt/jo? to erepov einvoelaOaL Biacjiopdv, dW' 
iv rfj K0Lv6r7]TL tt)? olaia^ ra? yv(optarLKd<^ 
IBLorrjra^; * eTnXdfirreiv e/cdara). /cat yap KaKel 
ev Tft) VTToBelyjJLart rj diravyd^ouaa rrjv ttoXv- 
'Xpoov ^ eKelvTjv avyrjv jxia ova la rjv, rj Bid t?}? 
r)\iaK^<; dKTLVO<; dva/cXayp^evr]' rb Be dvdo<; tov 
(f)aivop,evov 7To\veiBe<;' TraiBevovro^ rj/Ma^ rov 
Xoyov Kal Bid r?}? KTLae(o<; fiTj ^evoiraOelv ® rot? 
irepl TOV B6y/jLaT0<; Xoyoi^, orav eh ro BvaOeco- 
pi-jTOV €p.7rea6vT€<i irpo^; rrjv tcov Xeyo/jbivcov 
GvyKardOeaLV tXiyyidaco/iev. coairep yap eirl 
T(x)v T0t<; 6(j)0a\/ioi<; (pacvo/ievcov KpeiTTcov €(f)dv7] 
TOV \6yov T/}? alria^ i) irelpa, ovtco Kal tcov 
virepavaSe^-qKOTwv BoypLdrcov KpeiTTCov earl tt}? 
Bid XoyiapLOJV KaTaXt^ylrew^ rj 7rLaTL<;, Kal to 
Key^copio-fievov iv viroaTacrei Kai to avvrj/jL/juevov iv 
rfj ovaia BiBdaKovaa. iirel ovv to fiev ri koivov 
iv TTJ dyia TpidBi to Be IBiaKov 6 X0709 iveOeoo- 
p-qaev, 6 fxev Tri<; KoivoryjTO^ X6yo<; '^ eh ^ ttjv 



^ KaraXa/j.^di/etv F. 

2 \6yLaai]i'6€i A ; \6yitTai from vorjaai. alia m. F. 
^ ^Ttavaarpdimiv A ; 4ird.vdimiv B. * ovaioTrjras F. 

^ iroXvxp'j^'f^ov C, D ; iroXvxpoov from iroXvxpocfiov alia m. F. 
•^ KivoTvae^lv A, B, C, D, F. 
' iuedewp-qaev . . . \6yos om. C, D. 
216 



LETTER XXXVllI 

clearly the different colours and yet cannot per- 
ceive by our senses any interval that separates tlie 
one from the other, conclude, I pray, that you may 
in the same way draw inferences from analogy 
regarding the divine dogmas. You may thus reason : 
that the individual traits of the Persons, which may 
be com})ared with a particular hue of the colours 
of the rainbow, flash their light upon each of 
those whom we believe to constitute the Holy 
Trinity ; that, however, no difference can be per- 
ceived in the individual character of the nature 
of one as compared with another, although together 
with their community of substance the distinguishing 
characteristic traits of each shine forth. For in 
fact even in our illustration it is one substance 
which flashes forth that many-coloured ray, even 
the substance which through the sunbeam is bent 
back ; but the hue of the rainbow we see is multi- 
form. Thus even though a created object, reason 
teaches us not to allow the discussion of dogma to 
make us uneasy whenever we fall into a matter 
difficult to understand and become dizzy when we 
face the conflict of the different propositions. For 
just as in the case of things which appear to our eyes 
experience seems better than a theory of causation, 
so too in the case of dogmas which transcend our com- 
prehension faith is better than apprehension through 
processes of reasoning, for faith teaches us to under- 
stand that which is separated in person but at the 
same time united in substance. Since, therefore, 
reason has distinguished an element common to the 
Persons of the Trinity as well as an element peculiar 
to each, what reason shows is common is referred 

* eis from Kara alia in. F. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ovaiav avdyeraL, t) he v7r6aTa(TL<; to IBia^ov 
eKciarov ai^iielov iaTLv. 

'A\X' t'crft)9 oterac tl<; /lyj avfi^alveLv top airoSo- 
Oevra irepl r/}? vTroardaeo}'^ Xoyov rfj hiavoia ri)^ 
Tov cLTToaroXov ypa(f)Pj<;, iv ol? (j)'>](7l irepl rod 
Yivpiov, OTL '' Xiravyaaixa tt)? S6^t](; avrov, Kal 
')(^apaKT7]p tt}? V7roaTda€co<;. el yap viroaracnv 
aTToSeBcoKajjiev elvaL tt]v crvvBpo/jLrjv tmv irepl 
eKaarov IBLoo/jbdrcov, ofioXoyeirat Be, Mcnrep errl 
TOV narpo?, elvai tl to lBia^6vTco<i iinOewpov- 
fjuevov, Bi ov fxovo^ einyiv(jiaK.eTai} KaTcu tov 
avTov Be TpoTTOV Kal irepl tov 'Movoyevov<; to ictov 
TTKTTeveTar ttw? evTavda to tt)^ viroa-Tdaeco^ 
ovo/jia T(p YiaTpl fiovw irpoafiapTVpel r) Tpa(j)7], 
TOV Be Tiov /jLOp(pr]v \eyei t?)? viToaTd(Tew<;, ovk 
iv IBlol<^, dX>C iv T0i9 tov HaTpo? yvcopLafxaaL 
'y^apaKTyjpi^o/ievov ; el yap rj viroaTaai^ to IBia^ov 
T^? efcd(TTOV V7rdp^eci}<; arj/xetov iaTi, tov Be 
Har/jo? 'lBlov to dyevvi]T(D<^ elvai o/xoXoyeiTai., 
fie/jLopcpcoTat Be 6 T/o? to?? tov UaTpo^ IBicofiaaiv, 
apa ovKeTL Biafievei tw UaTpl kut i^aipeTov eV ^ 
avTOv fiovov TO dyevvijTov XeyecrOai, elirep tco 
IBid^ovTi TOV naT/30? ^ 77 TOV yiovoyevov^; 'X^apaK- 
Trjpl^eTac v7rap^L<;. 

'AW' r)fjLel<; TovTo (pa/iev, oti eTepov TrXrjpol 
(TKOTTOV ivTavOa TO) diroaToXy ^ 6 \0709, Trpo? ov 

^ iiriyvwa-eTai B. ^ eV from utt' alia m. F. 

3 Kal add. A, B, C, D, E, F. * rod liTroo-To'Aoy F. 

218 



LETTER XXXVIII 

to the substance, and the Person is tlie individualiz- 
ing note of each member of the Trinity. 

But perhaps someone thinks that the doctrine of 
the person here presented docs not agree with the 
conception in the writings of the aj)ostle, where he ^ 
says that the Lord is the brightness of His glory 
and the figure of His person. For if we have 
taught that person is the conflux of the individual 
traits of each member of the Trinity, and if all 
agree, as in the case of the Father, that that trait 
which is individually observed is something whereby 
that member alone is recognized, and if in the same 
way we hold the like belief about the Only-begotten 
also ; how then does it happen that the Scriptures in 
the passage quoted testify to the term '^person" for 
the Father alone, and speak of the Son as the form 
" of his person " or ^Miypostasis," as being character- 
ized, that is, not by His own proper distinguishing 
notes but by those of the Father ? For if the person or 
" h^'postasis " is the distinctive sign of the existence of 
the several members of the Trinity, but being 
" unbegotten" is acknowledged to be peculiar to the 
Father, and the Son has been formed by the 
individual traits of the Father, then there no longer 
remains to the Father exclusively to be called 
" unbegotten " in a sense peculiar to Himself alone, 
if indeed the existence of the Only-begotten is 
characterized by the individual note peculiar to the 
Father. 

But our answer is this, that the statement of the 
passage quoted fulfils a different purpose for the 

^ Cf. Heb. 1. 3, where St. Paul uses the ^vord vw 6 aTacr is, 
" person." 

219 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

pXeiTwv ravrai^ ly^pi^aaTO toI^ (f)covac<;' Sof?;? 
aTTavyaafia Xiycov, koX x^paKrrjpa r?}? vTrocrrd- 
a€(o<;' ovirep o aKpt^m vor](7as ovSev evpijaei Toh 
Trap' y]fxo)v elprifievoi,^ fiaxoptevov, ciXX eiri tlvo^ ^ 
lBia^ov(T^]<^ ivvota^ rov Xoyov hLe^ayofievov. ov 
yap OTTCO'; SiaKpiOelev air dXX7]\ci)V at viroaTaaei^ 
hia TMV 67TL(j)aLvofievcov ar}/jL€L(ov 6 d7ro(TTo\tKo<; 
TTpay/jLaTeverat, \6yo<;, dX)C otto)? to yvijaiov re 
/cal dhidajarov koI avvijfx/ievov t?}? tov Tiov 
7rpo9 TOV Tiarepa ax^a6(o<; vor)Oeir]. kol ^ yap 
ovK elirev, O^ ojv ho^a tov TlaTpo'^, KaiTOiye to 
d\7]66<; oi/TO)? exit's dWd tovto TTapakLiroov dx; 
ofioXoyovfievov, to /jlt) dWo tl 86^7]<; elSo<; iirl tov 
IlaTpo? KOL €T6pov iirl TOV Tlov voelv BiBdo-Kcov, 
avTi)^ T?}9 TOV naT/309 Sof^;9 diravyaafia Trjv 
TOV 'Wovoyevov^ Scopi^eTac So^av, to dhiaaTdTw^ ^ 
avveiTLvoelaOai tw YluTpl tov Tlov /cuTaaKevd^cov 
eK tov kutcl to 0c59 inroheiypbaTO^. co? yap Ik 
T7}9 (j)Xoyo<i fiev 7) avyi], ov puyv vaTepa fiCTa t^i» 
(f)\6ya €<tt\v 7] avyi], dX>C opiov t€ 7) (f)\o^ dv- 
eXo-yLi-v/re, Ka\ (TvvairrjvydaOri to <^a»9' ovtw ffov- 
XeTai Ka\ Ik tov TlaTpo<; /xev tov Tiov voelaOat, 
ov jJLTjv irapaTdaei tlvI BLa<7Tr]p.aTi/cfj ^ t?59 tov 
HaTpo^ virdp^eco^ tov ^lovoyevrj Btopl^eadai, dW' 
del TU) acTiw to ef avTOv avvvTroXa/ji/Sdveiv. 

Kara tov avTov ovv Tpoirov, coairep i(f)epfjL7]- 
V6VC0V TOV irpoaiTohoOevTa vovv, Kal viToaTdae(o<; 
XapaKTTjpd <f)i](Ti., T0i9 (70) /jbaT I Kot<; 7]p,d<; viroheiy- 
paai ^ 7r/309 ^ t^)z^ tmv dopdTcov x^^P^J^y^^ 

1 Tivos from T7JS alia m. F. * ws editi ; koI F. 

' cL^iaaTrdcrTws E. * Smo-Tt/iOTt/cfj E. 

^ viroSeiyixacn from Zoy/xaai alia m. F. 



LETTER XXXVIII 

apostle, whicli purpose he had in mind wlien he used 
the words ^' the bri<^htness of His glory and the 
figure of His person. " And if you reach an accurate 
understanding of this purpose, you will find nothing 
that contradicts our statements, but that, on the 
contrary, his argument is carried on with a certain 
})eculiar intent. The intention of the apostle is not 
to distinguish the Persons from one another by their 
evident marks, but to establish the true sonship, the 
indivisibility, and the intimacy of the relationship 
of the Son to the Father. For he does not say, 
"who being the glory of the Father," although this 
is the truth, but he takes this for granted, and in 
his endeavour to teach us not to conceive of one 
kind of glory in the Father and another in the Son, 
he defines the glory of the Only-begotten as the 
" brightness of the glory " of the Father, causing 
the Son to be associated inseparably wdth the 
Father in our thoughts by making use of the light by 
way of illustration. For just as the radiance is 
from the flame, and surely not after the flame, but at 
the very moment that the flame is kindled, the light 
also beams forth as brightness ; so the apostle 
wishes the Son to be considered as from the Father, 
not surely that the Only-begotten should by any 
extent that forms an interval be separated from the 
existence of the Father, but that our minds should 
always conceive with the causing principle that 
which proceeds from it. 

Then in the same manner, as if to interpret the 
preceding notion, he says, " and the figure of his 
person," conducting us by corporeal illustrations to the 

^ TTphs from Ka\ ah' a m. F. 

221 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Karavorjcnv. o)? yap to aojfia 7rdvT(o<; earlv iv 
a)(^7]/jLaTi, dW eVepo? fiev 6 rod ctxvI^clto'^,^ 
€Tepo<; Be 6 rod acofiaro^; ^ \6yo<;, Kol ovk dv tl<; 
dTroBihov'i rov ifcarepov tovtcov opiafxov (Tvvev6)(^ 
Oelrj TO) irepl rod eripov ttXtjv dWd kclv \6y(p 
ScaKplvr)^ ^ TO a^y/ia rod aco/u.aTo<;, rj (f)vcrL<; ov 
7rapa8e)(^6Tai Trju ^LdKpLaLV, dWd avi>y]/xpLev(o<; 
vcelrat /lerd rod erepov ro erepov ovrax; oieraL 
Selv 6 diToaToko^, Kav o t?;9 TTtcTTea)? \6yo<; 
davyyvTov Koi Siypij/jLevijv rrjv row viroardaewv 
BcSdaKT] Sia(j)opdv, dWd /col to 7rpoa6')(e<; Koi 
oiovel avpL(f)V6'i rov 'Slovoyerov'^ 7r/309 top tlarepa 
Bid TOiv €Lpr)/ievcov TiapiaTdvai,^ ovy o)? ovk ovto^ 
iv viToaTdaeL Kal tou Movoyevov^;, a\V &)? ov 
irapaBexofiivov fieaoTrjTa Tiva T/j? eavTOV tt/oo? 
Toi^ UaTepa evcocreco^' axTTe top tw ')(^apaKTfjpt 
TOU yiovoyevov'^ Bid TOiv t>}? '^vyv^ ofifidTcov 
evaTevLGavTa Kal tT;? tov TIaTpo<^ vTTOdTdaecof; 
iv irepivoia yeveaOai, ovk i7raXXaaao/JL€vr]<; ovBe 
o-vvavafjLtyvv/Ji€i>r]<; tt)^ iirideoopovfxivTj^^ avTol^ 
IBlottjto';, ft)9 ^ Tft) UaTpl TTjV yevvijaiv, rj tw 
T/&) T7]v dy€Vvrj(TLav e7n/jiop(f)d^€LV, aXV w? ovk 
ivBexo/ji€Vov TO erepov tov erepov Bia^ev^avra^,^ 
i(f) eavrov /lovov "^ KaraXa/Setv ^ ro XecTTo/ievov. 
ovBe ydp ian Bvvarov, Tibv ovo/xdaavra, ixtj Kal 
naT/30? iv irepLvoia yeveaOai, a-')(erLKOi^ t?}? 
TTpoai^yopia'^ ravri]'; Kal rov Uarepa avveiM^aiv 
ova7]<;. 

^ aufxaros F. ^ crx^l^'^'^^^ ^- ^ SiaKpiPT) C, D, F. 

* irapioTriffiv editi ; irapKnavai R. J. D. 

^ iTTiOeocpova-ns E. ^ Sia^ev^avTOS K. ' fiouou C, D. 

^ KaraXa^uv from KaTaXajx^aveiv alia ni. F. 

222 



LETTER XXXVIII 

understanding of things invisible. For as the body 
consists altogether in form, although the principle of 
the form is different from that of the body, and no 
one in giving a definition of each would identify it 
with the definition given for the other — with this 
difference, however, that even if by reason you 
separate form from body, nature does not admit of 
the separation, but the one is always thought of in 
connection with the other ; just so the apostle 
thinks that, even if the doctrine of the faith teaches 
that the different Persons are unconfounded and 
distinct from one another, he is bound to set forth 
in the words above quoted the continuity and as it 
were congenital unity of the Only-begotten in 
relation to the Father ; and he states this, not as if 
the Only-begotten were not also in ^Miypostasis " or 
person,^ but as if He did not admit any interspace 
interrupting His oneness with the Father ; so that 
he who gazes intently with his soul's eyes upon the 
'' figure " of the Only-begotten at the same time 
becomes keenh' aware of the '^ hypostasis " or person of 
the Father, their recognized individuality not being 
transferred from one to the other nor yet inter- 
mingled, so that we could falsely ascribe either 
begottenness to the Father or unbegottenness to the 
Son, but that, if we should disunite the one from the 
other — an impossible thing — we should apprehend 
alone by itself the one remaining. For in naming 
the Son it is impossible not to be keenly aware of 
the Father also, the appellation '^ Son " implicitly 
connoting the Father as well. 

^ i.e. not in the sense that the relationship between the 
Father and Son is merely a figure of speech and that the 
Father and the Son are not distinct Persons. 

223 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

'Fjirei^i] TOivvv 6 €copaKa)<; tov Tiov opa rov 
Uaripa, Ka6(o<; (f)rjcnv ev evayyeXloc^; 6 }s.vpio<;, 
Sia rovTo ')(apaKTrjpd (ptjcnv elvai tov Movoyepr) 
T?)? TGv UaTpo<; vTToardaeco^. kuI &)? av fidWov 
iTTiyvcoadeu] to vorjfia, fcal dWa<; au/jL7Tapa\r)yfr- 
o/xeOa TOV diro(JTo\ov (^wm?, kv ah elKova tov 
©eoO TOV dopoLTOVy Koi T^9 dyaQoTr\TO'^ avTOv 
irakiv eiKova (f)i]aLV, ovy^l too Bia(f)epeiv tov 
dp^eTviTOV TTjv eiKova KaTa tov t?}? dopaala^ Kal 
rr)? dyaOoTT^TO^ \6yov, dW' Iva heL')(6fj otl TavTov 
T(p TTpcoTOTVircp ecTTt, /cdv ETepov y. ou yap dv 6 
T>}9 elKovo<; BiaaayOeu] X0709, el fir) Sid irdvTcav to 
ivapye<; e^ot "'■ Aral dirapdWaKTov. ovkovv to 
T?}? sIkovo^ KaTavoi]aa^ KdWo<; iv irepivoia tov 
dpyeTVTTOV y'lveTai. Kal tov Tiov tjjv oiovel 
uop(p7]V TTj Stavoia Xa^cov Trj<; iraTpiKY}'^ viroaTaa- 
eco? TOV 'X^apaKTTjpa dveTVTrcoaaTO, ^Xeircov Sid 
TOVTOV i/celvov, ov ttjv dyewTjaiav tov IlaTpo<; iv 
T(p direiKoviaiiaTL ^Xeirccv {yj yap av Sl oXov 
TavTov TjV Kal ov)( €Tepov), dXXd to dyevvifTOV 
KdXXo^ iv Tw yevvrjTW KaTOirTevcra^. WGirep 
yap ^ 6 iv Tft) fcaOapw KaTonTpM t7]v y€vo/ji6V7]v 
T?)? /jLop(f)ri<; epb^acTLV KaTavoj]cra<;, ivapyf] tov 
direLKOViaOevTO^; irpoaocurov ti]v yvwaiv 6a')(ev, 
ovTco'i 6 TOV Tiov i7riyvov<; tov ^(^apaKTrjpa T?J9 
TTaTpiKi)'^ viToaTdaew<^, Sid tt}? tov Tiov yvooaew^, 

1 ^xei E. 2 y^^p om. A, B, C, D, F. 

1 Cf. John 14. 9 : Aeyet avT(f 'Irjaovs, TocrovToy xp^^o^ 1^^^' 
V/J.COU el/x'i, Kol ovK eyvuKas /xe, ^iKiirire ; 6 ecapaKcos eyue ewpaKi 
rhv irarepa. " Jesus saith to liim, Have I been so long a time 
with 5'ou : and have you not known me, Philip ? He that 
seeth Me seeth the Father also. " 

224 



LETTER XXXVIII 

Therefore, since he that liath seen the Son seeth 
the Father also, as tlie Lord says in the Gospels/ on 
this account the a])ostle says that the Only-begotten 
is ''^ the figure of His (that is, the Father's) person." 
And in order that the thought may be more clearly 
perceived, we shall take up still other expressions of 
the apostle, where he ^ speaks of the Son as " the 
image of the invisible God," and again ^ as the 
'^ image of His goodness," using the word "image'' 
not by reason of any difference between image and 
archetype so far as the principles of invisibility and 
goodness are concerned, but that it may be shown 
that the image is identical with the prototype, even 
though it is different. For the principle of the 
image would not be preserved, unless it should in all 
respects retain the manifest and invariable likeness 
to the original. Accordingly, he who has conceived 
the beauty of the image is keenly aware of the 
archetype. And he who grasps in thought the 
" form," so to speak, of the Son images "the figure 
of His (the Father's) person " or " hypostasis," seeing 
the latter through the former, not seeing, however, 
in the copy any unbegottenness of the Father (for in 
that case the Son would assuredly be completely 
identical with the Father and not different), but 
discerning the unbegotten beauty in the Begotten. 
For just as one, perceiving in a bright mirror the 
reflection of a shape that appears therein, receives a 
definite knowledge of the imaged face, so he who 
recognizes the Son, through his knowledge of the 
Son receives in his heart the " figure of His (the 

2 Col. 1. 15. 

' Wis. 7. 26. These are not the words of the apostle, 
but are ascribed to Solomon. 

225 
VOL. I. Q 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

iv rfj Kaphia ihe^aro?- iravra yap ra rod 
naT/909 iv Tw T/« KaOopdrai, kol Trdvra ra rod 
Tlov Tov Yiarpo^ iariv, eVet^T) fcal 6\o<; o T/09 iv 
T(p Yiarpl jievei kol o\ov ex^i' ttoXlv iv eavrw 
TOV Harepa. ware r) rod Tlov v7r6(TTaai<; olovel 
/JLopcpij real irpocrwiTOv yLverat rrj'^ rod Harpo^; 
iiriyvooaeo}^' /cal rj rev TlaTpo<; v7r6aTacn<; iv t^ 
TOV Tlov /xopcfifj iTrLyLvcoa/cerai, p,€vovcn')<; avToZ<^ 
TTj^ iinOecopovfjLiv'ij'i ISl6t7]to<; €6? htaKpiaiv ivapyrj 
Tcav virodTdaecov. 

XXXIX 

'lov\Lavo'^ V»a(TiKeL(p ^ 

'H /jLev irapoLfiia (prjalv, Ov iroXefjLOv dyyeXXei^, 
iyo) Be iTpoaOeuiv itc t/)? Kcoixcphia^i, 'II 'X^pvaov 
dyyei\a<i irroov. Wl ovv, epyoL^ avTO Bel^ov, 

^ etVeSe'laro E ; eio-eSe'loro from eSe'laro alia m. F. 
2 This letter is not to be found in any of the six MSS. 
examined by the writer. 

^ Cf. John 14. 10 : ov mcTTeveis on iyu ev r^ Trarpi, /col 6 
TTOTTjp iu i/uLo'i iari ; to, prjijcara a iyu) \aXco iifjuv, citt' ijxavTov oh 
AaAw. o 5e -rrarrip 6 iu ijuLol fJLCvuv, avrhs ivoiel to epya, etc. 
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the 
Father in Me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not 
of Myself. But the Father who abideth in Me, He doth the 
works," etc. 

2 Thus Basil expresses the orthodoxy of the Trinity in one 
phrase: /xia ovaia, Tp€7s vwocrrdcreis, "one substance, three 
persons." Xever again in his writings does he use vwdcrraTis 
in its earlier sense, as equivalent to ovaia. Cf. Athan. 
Orat. contra Ariaitos, iii. 64 and iv. 33. 

' This letter of Julian, the Emperor, is addressed to a 
certain Basil, but in all probability not to ours. In fact, 

226 



LETTER XXXIX 

Father's) person " or " hypostasis." For all the attri- 
butes of the Father are beheld in the Son^ and all 
the attributes of the Son belong to the Father, in so 
much as the Son abides wholly in the Father and in 
turn has the Father wholly in Himself.^ Thus the 
})erson or ^' hypostasis " of the Son becomes as it were 
the form and countenance by which the Father is 
made known, and the person or "hypostasis" of the 
Father is made known in the form of the Son, 
although their observed individuality abides in each 
to serve as a clear differentiation of their persons or 
"hypostases." - 

LETTER XXXIX 

Julian to Basil ^ 

The proverb* says, "Thou comest not as mes- 
senger of war," but I would add a phrase from 
comedy,^ "O messenger of golden words." Come 

apart from the information in these letters (XXXIX, XL, 
XLI), nothing is known of BasiUs acquaintance with Julian, 
except that, by reason of having attended the University of 
Athens at about the same time, they probably had met. 
Furthermore, the letter does not appear in any of the MSS. 
of Basil. Claude Morel inserted it in his edition of St. Basil 
in 1618, apparently taking it from some edition of the works 
of the Emperor Julian. The letter seems to liave been 
written just after Julian became Emperor, in the winter of 
361-302, since of that period alone can one say that Julian, 
as Emperor, enjo^-ed any leisure. Cf. Bessieres ; also Bidez 
and Cumont, Epidolae Imp. Caesaris Flavii Claudii luliani, 
London 1922, p. 39; but see, for the opinion that this letter 
is not addressed to some other Basil, W. C. Wright's Julian 
in L.C.L., introduction Vol. 11. p xli. 

* Plat. Legg. iv. 702 D ; rhacdr. 242 B. 

5 Aristoph. Flut. 268. 

227 
Q 2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kal crirevSe Trap' y/id^' acpL^rj yap 0t\o? irapa 
(ptXov. 

'H Be irepl ra irpdy^ara kolvt) koX avvexh^ 
cKT^oKia S0K6L piev elvai 7rco<; tol<; irdpepyov avro 
TTOLOVdiv i7ra)(d7]<;, ol he tyj^ i7ripL€\eia<; kolvwv- 
ovvrh elaiv eTTieiKei'^, co? ip,avToi> ireiOcd, Kat 
(Tvveroi, Kal 7rdvra)<; Uauol Trpo? Trdvra. BiBcop^t ^ 
ovv pLOi paaTCiivrjV, Mare i^elvai, pLrjBev oXiycopovvrt 
Kal dvairaveaOai' avveapbev yap dW7]\oL<; ov 
piera t^9 avXLKrj<=; v7roKpLaeco<; p^ovr}^, ^9 ^ olpbal 
ae piexpi' '^ou Beupo ireireipaaOaL, Ka0* fjv eirai- 
vovvT6<^ pLLcrovcn TyjXiKovTov p2(T0<^, rfKiKov ovBe 
Tov^ iroXepuwrdrov;, dWd pLCTCi 7/)? iTpocr7-iKOvar}<^ 
dWr]Xov<^^ eXev66pia<^ i^eXeyxovTe^; re orav Berj 
Kal iiTLTipLOJVTe^ ovK eXarrov 4)iXovp,ev clXXjjXow; 
TO)v (j^ohpa eTaipcov. evOev e^ecrriv rjpLiv (direirj 
he (f)d6vo<;) dveLpLevoL<; re aiTOvBd^eiv Kal airovhd- 
^ovai pur) TaXaiTTWpelaOaL, KaOevSecv he aSeoi?, 
iirel Kal eypi]yopa)<; ou^ vTrep eavrov pidXXov rj 
Kal virep rwv dXXcov divdvTwv, &>? elKo<;, eypi]yopa* 

Tavra ia(o<; KaTr)hoXecrxr)ad aov Kal Kar- 
eXi]pfj(Ta, iraOciiv rt ySXa/ccoSe? {eirrfveaa yap 
ip-avTov, Mairep WaTvhdpia<^), dXX Xva ae ireiaw 
irpovpyov ri pLoXXov rjpilv r)]v ar)v TTapovaiav, 

^ SlouxTi codd. Jul., sed BiBafii ed. Bas. 
- ?js fx6vf}s ed. Jul. 2 aXX-qKois ed. Jul. 

1 Of. Plat. Menexen. 247 B. 

^ Julian intimates that his first personal interest is his 
studies. 

^ i.e. to himself, the Emperor. 

* An Athenian tragic poet of the middle of the fourth 
century B.C. He wrote a laudatory inscription to be carved 

228 



LETTER XXXIX 

then, prove this in deed, and hasten to us ; for you 
will come as friend to friend.^ 

Routine and unremitting occupation in public 
affairs seems somehow irksome to those who eno-afje 
in it as a secondary matter,^ ij^^^ those who share 
with me the responsibility are, I am convinced, 
honourable, intelligent, and altogether competent 
for every task. I therefore grant myself a respite, 
so that without neglect of duty it is permitted to me 
even to take a holiday. For our association with 
one another has nothing in it of that mere court 
hypocrisy — of which I believe you have had experi- 
ence before — according to which men praise while 
hating with such a hatred as they do not feel even 
for their worst enemies, but is attended by a mutually 
becoming frankness, so that as the occasion demands 
we refute and reprove one another, yet love one 
another no less dearly than do the closest comrades. 
For this reason it is permitted to us^ (niay no envy 
attend my words !), both in my hours of relaxation 
to study and in study not to grow weary, but to sleep 
securely, seeing that even when I am awake it is not 
so much for myself that I am wakeful but, in all 
likelihood, for all the rest. 

In all this I have perhaps wearied you with my 
prattling and my idle talk, being afflicted with a 
sort of dullness of wit (for you see I have been 
praising myself, as Astydamas^ did), but I write this 
letter with the purpose of convincing you that your 

upon a pedestal of a bust of himself which the people had 
voted in his honour, and Philemon the comic poet gibed at 
him in the line, aavrrjv iiraiv€7s uiairep 'AcrrySa^uas ttot4, " You 
praise j-ourself, as Astydamas once did." See Philemon, 
frag. 190 (Kock), and Suidas^ s.v. (xavrhv iiraivfls. 

229 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 



are dvSpo<; efjL(f>povo^, irou'iaeiv i) irapaLpi'iaeaOai 
Ti Tou Kaipov, ravra eTrecrreiXa. airevSe ovv, 
oirep e(f)7]v, hi-jfioaiw xprjaofievo^; Spofiw. crvv- 
SiaTpL\jra<; Se jj/jlIv i(p' oaov ^ aoi (piXov, olirep 
av 6e\r]'^ v(f)^ 7)ficoi> 7r€fi7r6/jLepo<;, co? irpoarjKov iari, 



XL 

^lovXtavo'i BacTfXetft) ^ 

To e/jifjiVTov fiot ifc iraiSoOev yaXrjvov /cal 
cf)i\dv6pco7rov p^e^pL rod 7rap6vTO<; eTrtSeLKVufievo^i, 
7rdvTa<; vTn-jKoov'; eKOfiiaapbev^ T01/9 0LK0vvTa<; 
7r]v V(p' ijXiop. ISov yap irdv yevo<^ ^ap^dpwv 
fjiexpi-'^ opiwv ''D.Keavov * hwpd p,ot ko/il^ov r]Ke 
irapd iToal toc<; ifioU. 6p,0i(o<; Be Kal SaydSap€<; 
ol irapd Tov Advovfiiv iKTpa(f>ivT6<;, ol evp^opcpo- 

^ oaov codd. Jul. 

^ 'lovK'.avos ^aaLXevs 8a.(TLXeiu> E ; 'lovAiavov rov irapa^OLTov 
nphs TOV fieyau ^acriK^i.ov C, D ; 'lovKiavov irpos rhv ayiov 

^(KjlXiLOf F. 

^ iKo/j.i(Ta/jLr]u E. ^ TTOTajxov add. C, D, F. 

* The privilege of free transport at the expense of the 
State, granted to ecclesiastics b\' Constantine in 314, was 
revoked by Julian in 362 {Codrx Theodos. 8. 5, 12), who 
reserved to himself the right to make exceptions as a special 
mark of his favour. Cf. NVright's Introd. to Vol. III. of the 
L.C. L. edition of Julian. 

2 This and the following letter (XLI) are unanimousl}' 
regarded as spurious, and the}' were so recognized even in 
Byzantine times ; cf. the remark of the B^'zantine scholiast 
{F.G. 32, 341): ovre rw ¥)QeL, ovre rw x<^po.'<'''VP^, ovt€ /j.r}u tt) 
\4^fi TTJs ep/jLTiveias 5o'coC(rt iJ.01 -rrpoar^Keiv at 8vo avrai iirttrToKal 

230 



LETTER XL 

presence, as a man of wisdom, will be serviceable 
rather than cause me to lose any time. Therefore, 
as I have said, hasten ; you will use a State con- 
veyance.^ When you have stayed with me as long 
as you like, you will be conveyed by me, and you 
will go, as is proper, wherever you will. 



LETTER XL 

Julian to Basil ^ 

Although we have always, up to the present 
time, exhibited that leniency and kindness which 
have been my natural disposition from boyhood, yet 
we have brought all the peoples that live under 
the sun beneath our sway. For lo ! every race of 
barbarians, to the l)orders of the Ocean, have come 
bringing us gifts, and have placed them at our feet. 
And in like manner, even the Sagadares, who live 
along the Danube ^ — that comely-parti-coloured- 

Tois avSpdaiv oJs audxeivrai, " Neither in character, nor stamp, 
nor choice of expression do these two letters seem to me to 
befit the men to whom they are attributed." These letters 
also do not appear in most of the best MSS., and from this 
we must infer that they were introduced into the tradition 
at a late date. The name of the Emperor Julian brought 
them prominent attention. The content of the letters seems 
to have been drawn from a fabulous story of Julian now 
extant only in a S^'riac translation. The assumed date is 
June or July, 362. 

The variant readings of the MSS. are so numerous, that 
we have seen fit to note only the more significant as found 
in the MSS. CDEF of St. Basil. 

^ Julian always uses the name " Ister " for the Danube ; 
cf. Wright's Julian, Vol. III. Introd., p. xlii. 

231 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

7TOLKL\o/cav6ap6/jLop(f)OL,^ oU ovK eaTL 6ea 6/jLOLoechT]<; 
dvOpooTTcov, dWa /xopcpr) dypialvovaa, ovtol Kara 
TTjv iveo-Toxrav irpofcaXiv^ovvTaL ^ t')(yeaL rol^ 

ifJLol^, V7Tl(TXV0Vfl€V0L flGl TTOLgIv iK€LVa CLlTep Tjj 

ififj irpeirei ^ ^acriXela. ov')^! Se iv tovtw pLovw 
eXfco/iai, dWa Set fie avv iroWw tw ra^et Kara- 
Xa^elv rrjv Uepacov kol TpoTTwaaaOaL '^dirwpiv^ 
i/celvov TOP diToyovov Aapecou yeyovora, a^^pK: 
01) v7r6(f)opo<; kol viroreXi]^ fioc yevrjTar iv ravrw ^ 
he Kal Trjv 'IvSmv koX ti]v ^ XapaKrjvcov TrepwiKiSa 
eKiropdrjcrai, a^pi-'i ovtol 7rdpTe<; iv BevTepa rd^ei 
tt}? i/jLrj<; yevcovrac viroc^opoL Kal vTroreXei^i. 

'AXX,' avT0<; irreKeiva tt}? tovtcov Bvvd/jLe(o<; 
7re(j)p6vr]fca<;, evXd/Seiav Xeycov ivSeSvaOai, dvaih- 
eiav Se Trpo/SaXXopLevo^''^ Kal 7ravTa-)(ov hia- 
(f)7]/jLL^wv dvd^iov fie tT/? r6)V 'Vwpbaicov ySacriXeta? 
yeyovevai, rj ovk olaOa avT0<; &)? J^covaravrLOV ^ 
rod Kpariarov diroyovo^ yeyora ; Kal tovtcov 
ovTco yvwaOevTcov tj/jlIv (tov eiveKa, ov8e t?;? irpo- 
Tepa^ i^eaTTJixev hia6eaeo)<;, ?;? eTC veot 6vTe<; rfj 
-qXiKia^ iyo) re Kal av jj-eTecry^i^Kafxev. dXXd 
yaX7]vw Tw ^povy]fiaTL Oeairi^o) heKa eKaTOVTuBa^ 
•y^pvaLOv XcTpcov i^arroaTaXrivai /jlol rrapd aov 
ev TT] TTapobw fiov ^^ ttj Kara Trjv is^aLaapo^;, eTi 
fjLOV KaTCL TTjv Xccocpopov v7rdp')(0VT0<;, avv TToXXw 
T(p Td')(^ei d<f>LKvovixevov jjlov iirl tov TlepaiKov 

TToXe/lOV'^^ eTOLfJLOV 6vT0<i fjLOV,^^ el pLT] TOVTO 

^ €VfXop(\>0TTOiKLXoKaudap6uop(poi C, D ; evfioppoTTOiKiKoKapo/xoprpoi 
F ; evfjLop<poTroiKi\oKadap6ixoppoi eclili. 

2 TTpOKvXivZovvrai F. ^ irp^irei] ap/xo^d E, F. 

* '2,dn(p(i}piv E. ^ iv toutoJ] iuTUvOa F. 

232 



LETTER XL 

beetle-shaped folk, whose ajipearance has no likeness 
to human kind, and whose shape is savaoje — these at 
the present o-rovel before my feet, and promise to 
do whatever accords with my sovereignty. And not 
by all this alone am I harried, but I must now with 
all speed overthrow the Empire of Persia and rout 
Saporis, that descendant of Darius, until he becomes 
my tributary and pays me taxes ; and at the same 
time I must pillage the border-lands of both the 
Indians and Saracens, until all these peoples, taking 
second place in my Empire, become tributary to it, 
and pay us taxes. 

But you yourself have surpassed the power of 
these in arrogance, claiming to have put on piety, and 
cloaking yourself with shamelessness, and every- 
where spreading it a])road that I have proved myself 
unworthy to be Emperor of the Romans. Do you 
not know of yourself that I am a descendant of the 
mighty Constantine ? Although all these things, 
as stated, have been known to us concerning you, 
we have not abandoned that former regard which 
Ave both felt for one another in our youth. Nay, 
out of my spirit of leniency I decree that a thousand 
pounds of gold be delivered to me by you as I pass 
through Caesarea, before I have yet left the high- 
way, as I hasten at full speed to the Persian war ; 
for 1 am readv, if you do not obey in this, to lay 



^ TWV E, F. 

^ Trepi^aWojuLevos (irepi in ras. et in marg. , alia ni.) F. 
^ KcavaravTov C, D, E. ^ tV r\\iKiav F. 

10 fiov om. C, D, F. 

11 eVi rhv YlepaiKhv it6kcixov'\ Kara rrju Yl^pawv E, F. 
1^ krolfjiov ovros ixov] Ka\ C, D. 



233 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TTOLyjaei'^, Trdvra tottov ^ avaaKevdaai tt}? ^ Kat- 
(Tapo<;, Kal ra iroKai avTp]<; iyrjyep/iiva KaWioup- 
yjjfiara^ KaraaTpiyjrai, fcal Kara tottov vaov<; 
re Kal dyciXfiara dvacrrPjaai., ware fie TreiaeLv'^ 
7rdvTa<; eiKeiv fSacrikel 'Vodfiaiwv, Kal p,i] virep- 
aipeaOat. to ovv e^ovopaaOev ')(pv(Tiov i^apiO- 
fjLo^vyoKa/jL7ravoTpvTai>i(7a<; Kal hiafxeTpi^cTa'^, 
d(T^a\6i<^ i^airoaTeCkov JjLOl^ Bl* olKeiov incrTOV 
(TOi ^ 6vT0<;, oaKTvkiM Tw aw a(j)payiadfj.€vo<;, 
(oaTe pe iireyvcoKora kuv oyp-e rrore rod Kaipov 
TO aTTapaLTr^Tov, yaXrjvov croc yeveaOai irepl rd 
iirTaL(Tp,eva. d Se dveyvcov, eyvwv Kal KaTeyvwv? 



XLI 

BacrtXe^o? 'JouXfayo) tt^o? Taura ^ 

yiiKpd aov^ Ta t^? 7rapovar)<; tu;^>;? dvhpaya- 
6/]paTa, Kal cj)avXa Ta r?/? dpLareia'^, 7^9 avTO<; 
r)pLaTeuaa<^ KaO rjpojv, ov)(l Be KaO' rjp,(op,^^ dWa 
Kad' eavTov.^^ iyco Be Tpofiw avve'X^opLai orav 
Xa/3a) Kara vovv irop^vpiBa ere iTepi^e^\r]aO ai}-^ 
GTe<^dv(p Be Tr]v aTtpov KeKoo-pbrjaOau aov Kecpa- 

^ iravTa tottoz'] ero/ftajs e^w C, D. ^ Tr]v C, D. 

^ KaWi^pyriixaTa F. * -KUffai D, E. 

^ fioi T6i avvihris E, F. ^ aov E, F. 

' & Se aviyvoov, eyvuv Kal KUTiyvMU oni. C,D, E, AISS. Juliani. 
^ Sic E ; ^aalXfios 'louXiavo) irapaBirri irphs toCto F ; 
^aai^eios Trphs ravra t^ irapa^aTr] C, D. 

9 <roi C, D, E, F. 1" Kad' T]^iwv om. C, D. 

^^ Kara a^av^ov C, D, F. 
^2 gTrep ecTTt ^aaikiKhu irpo^K-nfxa gloss. C, D, E, F, MSS. Jul. 



LETTER XLI 

waste every spot in Caesarea, to level to the ground 
its splendid structures erected long ago^ and in their 
places to set up temples and images of the gods, 
that I may persuade all men to yield to the 
Emperor of the Romans, and not unduly exalt 
themselves. Therefore have the stipulated sum 
counted-out-weighed-in-scales-and-balances and duly 
measured ; seal it with your own ring, and in the care 
of a servant faithful to you send it safely to me, 
that I, recognizing, however tardily, the exigencies 
of the times,^ may become lenient with you for your 
failings. What 1 have read I have understood, and 
have condemned.- 



LETTER XLI 

Bash, to Juliax, a Reply to the Preceding ^ 

Trivial are the gallant exploits of your present 
high fortune, and paltry are those of your own 
prowess as exhibited in your heroic action against us 
— no, not against us, but against yourself. As for 
me, I am seized with trembling when I realize that 
you have been clothed in purple, and that your 
dishonoured head has been adorned with a crown ; 

^ There was urgent business ahead of Julian (the Persian 
war) ; recognizing its importance he would, if he got the 
money, pass on and let Basil go. 

- Compare the last sentence in Basil's alleged reph*, 
Letter XLI. There is little MS. authority for either of 
these remarks. 

3 Generally regarded as spurious, of. previous letter, note 
1. The assumed date is the same as for the preceding 
letter. 

235 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

\r}Vy oirep SlX^ eL'cre/Seta? ovk evrtfiov} a\X' 
an/jLov KaOiarrjai aov ttjv fiaaiXeiav. oTOC avro^;, 
eTTavekOoiv Kal vTrepfxeyedri^ yevo/ievo^;, w? 76 
cpavXoi Kal iiiaoicaXoL Saifiov€<; eXXxvadv ae et? 
Tovro,"^ ov jJLOvov vTrep iraaav (f>vaiv dvOpcoircov 
(f)pov€LV yp^co,^ dWd Kal eh Seov virepaipecrOai,, 
Kal Tr]v TrdvTcov firjTepa Kal tlOtjvov 'KKKXyjaiav 
ivvppL^eiv,^ fjL7]vvaet ')(^piiadixevo<i iTp6<; fie tov 
evTeXeararov ')(^L\LdSa ^/jfcr/ou Xirpoiv e^airo- 
(jTaXr)vai aoc Trap* ifiov. 

Kat 77 /JLev TOV '^(^pvaLOV oXkt] ovk iOdfi^rjae 
fjbov rrjv hidvoiav, el Kal fidXa iroW-rj KaOecmjKev, 
dXXd SaKpvaaL /le iTLKpco^ irapeaKevaaev iirl rfj 
TOLavrr) rax'^cnr) aov dirayXela. evreOv/Jirj/jLat yap 
KaO^ eavTov &>? iyoo re avro^ Kal r) at] KaXoKu- 
yaOia Koivoi's pLefiaOi'^Kaiiev ra lepa Kal /SeXncTTa 
ypdfifjLara. eKdrepoi^ he Bie^i]XOofj.€v rd^; dyia^ 
Kal deoirvevaTOV^ Tpacpd^;, Kal eXdvOave fiiv ere 
Tore ovSev, eirl Se tov 7rap6vTO<; a/cocr/xT/TO? 
KadeaTrjKa^;, viro toiovtov (^povrjiJLaTO'^ (TTpaTo- 
TrehevOeh,^ fjhei^ r)/id<; irpo ttj? X^e?, yaXrfvoTaTey 
eiT dirXriGTia y^prjiidTwv /jLT] iroXtTeveaOar vvv 
he KaTa ttjv eveaTcaaav heKa eKaTOVTdha<i ^(pvaiov 
XiTpSiv e^aiToaTaXrjvai crot ^ iire^i'iTrjaa^; irap 
rj/iwv. ^elaaaOai 7)fjL(Jov tolvvv OeX-qaov, ya- 
X-qvoTaTe, ToaavTa ^ KeKTr)p,evwv ocra, dv Trjfiepov 
deXrjawfiev (payelv,^ ovk e^apKeaei rj/xlv. dpyel 
yap ci)? etVo? Trap' i)ijliv iiayeipcov Te^vr^, pLd')(aipa 
he avTMv aijxaaiv ov TvpoaofjiCXel. Ta jieyicTa 
Twi^ irap TjpLV ^pwfidTwv, eV ot? rj hayjriXeia, 

^ fvSo^ov F. ^ Trepl to roiavra for els tovto F. 

^ ^/3|a> om. C, D, E. * iiTLx^ipus add. F. 

236 



LETTER XLI 

for all this Avithoiit piety is not honourable, but 
renders your reign dishonoured. But it is you 
yourself who, when you returned ^ and became 
exceedingly great (though vile and malicious demons 
dragged you to this eminence !), began not only to 
be arrogant beyond all human kind, but even to 
exalt yourself to divinity and to insult the Church, 
the mother of all and nurse, by issuing a summons 
to my most unworthy self that a thousand pounds of 
gold be delivered to you by me. 

Now the weight of the gold did not astound my 
spirit, very great as it was ; but it did cause me to 
weep bitterly over your so speedy destruction. For 
I recalled to my thoughts how your excellency and 
I together studied the sacred and best literature. 
Each of us read the holy and divinely-inspired 
Scriptures through, and at that time nothing escaped 
you, although at the present time you have become 
unruly, beleaguered by that arrogance of yours. It 
was only the day before yesterday, most lenient sir, 
that you knew that I was living in no satiety of wealth, 
and yet now this very day you have demanded that 
a thousand pounds of gold be delivered to you by 
me. Be pleased to spare us, therefore, most lenient 
sir, for the total of my provisions will not be enough, 
if we desire to eat to-day, to suffice for my needs. 
For the art of cooking is, very properly, not practised 
in my house, and my cook's knife has no dealings 
with blood. The chief of my foods, wherein lies 

1 Julian returned to Constantinople from Gaul on Dec. 11, 
361, becoming Emperor on the death of Constantius. 

^ Kad^ fKOLTepov C, D. ^ (TTpaToirai^evdeis C, D. 

" i^airoara\r]vai croi oni. E, F, MS.S. Jul. 
' 7]fxa>v add. E, F. • XopTac-^Tjvoi F. 

237 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

^(^opTwv (f)vWa avv apro) Tpa)(^VTdT(i) ^ Kal tw 
i^eaTi-jKOTL ol'vo)' oiare fii] iKOafi/Sov/jLCva ^ r)/j,a)v 
ra alad-qrijpia vtto t))? yaaTptfiapyLa<; eii dcppo- 
avvTj TToXtreveaOat. 

^ ATrrjyyeiXe Se fxoi Kal tovto Aavao<; 6 cro? ^ 
Trept/SXeTTTO? rptpovvo^;, o yif7]cri6<; aoi irepl rd 
iaTTOvSaafieva, co? yvvy] tl<; irpoaeXevcnv iirou]- 
aaro iirl tt}? cr/}? yaXrjvorrjTO'; iir^ dirwXeia 
TraiBo'i avTYj'^ ^apfiaKevOevTO^, Kal &)? KeKpnai, 
irap vfiwv (f)ap/jLaKOv<; fiev /jiijSafiov etvai, ovra'^ 
he dvaipelaOai, rj eKeivov^ fiovov; irepLTTOiela-OaL 
oh V /Jidxv 7r/309 rd drjpta. Kal tovto, opdo)^ 
KptOev irap vfioiv,^ ^evov fioi 'Tre(^r]V€. iravTo^ 
yap yeXa)TO<; dvdfjLeaTOV Tvyxdvei, irw^ ra jxeydXa 
dXyr] Twz^ Tpav/iaTCOv fiiKpoU <^apfxdKOL<; eiTL'X^Lpel'; 
Oepaireveiv.^ Qehv ydp €Vv/3pLaa<;, ^VP^^ ^^^ 
6p(f)av(ov fMUTTjv irpovoLav iroifj. to fiev ydp 
pt,avLKov Kal eTTLKivhwov, TO he (^iXoiKTipfxovo<^ 
Kal avfiTradov^. 

'E7ra;^^e9 r]/j,Lv Xeyecv Trpo? /Sao-iXea, L8id)Ta<; 
ovTa^, eirayQ^cTTepov Si aoL (pav7]aeTai to Xeyeiv 
Trpo? (deov. ovSe\(; ydp /j,eaLT7]<; Seov Kal dv- 
OpooiTwv (pav'fjaeTaL. a /xivTOL dveyvco^, ovk 
eyvcD^;' el yap eyi'0)i^, ovk dv KaTeyvw;.^ 

1 fiyaxvrdrcf C, D. ^ ^Kdan^uaOai C, T>, E, MSS. Jul. 

^ (JOS om. E, F. ^ vfxlv F. 

^ iirix^i'p^^s depaneveiv] larpeveiv iTrix^ipus F. 

^ Si. fie VT 01 aviyvoos, ovk tyvws- et yap tyuus, ovk tiv Kareyvais 



LETTER XLI 

our abundance, are leaves of herbs, very coarse 
bread, and sour wine ; consequently our faculties are 
not so dulled by gluttony tliat we devote our life to 
folly. 

Your much-admired tribune Lausus, true com- 
panion of your pursuits, told me this also : that a 
certain woman paid a visit to your lenient self — the 
occasion being the death of her son by poisoning ; 
and that you decreed that poisoners are not allowed 
to exist,^ but that if they do exist, they are to be 
destroyed — or, at least, that only those may survive 
who are assigned to fight with the wild beasts. This 
decision, so wisely decided by you, seemed strange 
to me. For it is utterly ludicrous that you should 
attempt to allay the lady's great anguish, caused by 
the murder, by means of slight remedies. ^ Indeed, 
after you have insulted God, it is in vain that you 
provide for widows and orphans. For the one is 
madness and fraught with danger, whereas the 
latter beseems a man who is compassionate and 
moved by sympathy. 

It is a grievous thing for us, a private citizen, to 
s})eak to an emperor ; but it will appear to you still 
more grievous to speak to God. For no mediator 
between God and man will be at hand. Now what 
30U have read you have not understood ; for if you 
had understood you would not have condemned. ^ 

^ Cf. St. Cyprian, Letter XV: legibus vestris bene atqiie 
uti liter censuistis delatores non esse. 

2 The Greek word for "poisons" also means " drugs " or 
" remedies." There seems lo be a play on the two meanings. 

^ Cf. Soz. V. 18, where the closing words of Letter XL are 
attributed to Julian as addressed "to the bishops," and the 
closing words of Letter XLI are ascribed to these bishops in 
answer to Julian. Cf. also note 4 of the previous letter. 

239 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

XLII 

Upo^ ^iXcova Tov avTov fiaOijrijv ^ 

^(OTijpiov 7rpdyfjLaT0<; alViO? ^ yev/jaopai croiy 
oj yvtjate a^e\(f)e, el ySeco^; av/jLj3ov\ev0€ir]^ ^ irap^ 
rj/jLwv ra irpaKrea, /idXiara irepl o)i> rj/xd^; avro<; * 
TTapeKaXeaa"; av/ji/3ov\ev(7aL aoL. to fiev yap 
Kardp^aaOai rod fxovr}pov<^ /3lov 7roWo?9 Tcra)? 
reroX/jLrjTai, to 3e d^L(o<; i'ntTeh.eaaL oXlyoL^ '^<^'^X^ 
TTOV ireiTovT^Tai. /cat iravTw^ ovk ev irpodeaec 
fiovov ^ TO reXo? uTrap^et, aW ev tw Tekei to 
KepSo<; T(iiv ireirovqiievwv. ov/covv ovSev 6(f)e\o<; 
Tot9 fiT) 7r/309 TO TOV (J KOTTOV TcXo? i'TTeiyopievoL'^y 
axpi^ ^€ T^9 d,p')(rj<; fjLovrjf; [(TTaxTi tov to)v fiovax^v 
0LOV ov firjv dWa kol KarayeXaaTov KaraXi/jL- 
irdvovat ttjv eavrcov TTpodeaiv, dvavhpia<i /cat 
d(3ovXia<; irapd to)v e^wdev iyKaXovfievoi. (ftrjal 
yap Kal 6 Kvpio<; irepl tmv tolovtcoV Tt? fiovX- 

^ In Codice Mazariuaeo cfiiXia vphs etc. ; rod avrov imeydAov 
^acriKeiov irpos XdXocva tov iavrov jxaBriTriv C ; in Codice Regio 
2895 haec leguntur : rives tov \6yov tovtov tov ayiov NeiAou 
(Ivai Xeyovcri. 

' e5 add. C. ^ avfipovXevOris C. 

* avTo% oni. C. ^ ixofT) C. 

^ This and the three following letters are considered 
together as having been written before Basil's episcopate. 
Because of an alleged similarit}^ in st^de, these letters have 
also been considered together as regards authenticit}' (cf. 
Ceillier, iv. 435-437 ; Clark, 108), but several important 
considerations make it necessary to treat each separateh\ 

No ancient MS. of Basil's correspondence contains thi3 
letter. It appears first at the end of Parisinus 967 (dated 
1377), and on the margin of Regius 2895 we read, " Some say 
this is the work of the holy Nilus" (died about 430). 

240 



LETTER XLII 

LETTER XLII 
To Chilo, his Pupil ^ 

1 SHALL prove the cause of your salvation, my 
true brother, if you will willingly be advised by 
us as to the course of action you should pursue, 
especially in the matter in which you of your own 
accord invited us to advise you. Many perhaps 
have had the temerity to enter upon the solitary 
life, but few, I am inclined to think, have so 
laboured as to discharge it worthily to the end. 
And of course the end is not in the mere intention, 
but in the end is the reward of our labours. 
Therefore, there is no guerdon for men who do 
not carry their purpose through to the goal which is 
their end, but carry their adoption of the monastic 
life only as far as the beginning; nay rather, they 
leave their avowed intention in a ridiculous light, 
and gain from the world outside the accusation 
of cowardice and indecision. For even the Lord ^ 
says of such people : " Who, wishing to build a 

Furthermore, it appears in several MSS. of the homilies, 
where it properly belongs ; and it is as a homil}^ that the 
question of its authenticity should be considered. As far 
as the style is concerned, it might well be Basil's. 

2 Cf. Luke 14, 28-30 : ris yap e| v^j^civ, 64\wv irvpyou 
olKj5oiJ.ri(rai, ovx^ irpuiTou KaOiaas \pr]<piCei tt/j/ Saira.vr]v, el e^ff tol 
■nphs OLKapTLcriuLOP ; 'iva fXT] iroTe dei'TOS avruv OeueXiov, kuI fxr] 
((rx'^ot'TOS iKTcXeaai, iravTes ol decapovi/Tes 6.p^wi'Tai i/uLirai^eiv 
avTCf, Kiyovres, "Otz ovtos 6 6,v6potiiros ¥)p^a.ro olKo8ofie7v, Kal ovk 
X(rxy<r^v e/creAeVai. " For which of you, having a mind to 
build a tower, doth not first sit down, and reckon the 
charges that are necessary, whether he have wherewithal to 
finish it: lest after he hath laid the foundation, and is not 
able to finish it, all that see it begin to mock him, saying: 
This nian began to build and was not able to finish." 

241 
VOL. I. R 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

o/jievo^ oIkov ■'■ oLKoSo/jifjcraL ov)(l irpwrov KaOicra'^ 
'\jr7](f)i^€C rrjv hairdvrjv, el €;^6t ra 7rpo<; airap- 
TLafiov ; fii] iTore Oevro^ avrov de/ieXiov Kal /jL7] 
laynuovro'^ ^ i/creXeaai, ap^wvrai ip^Tral^eiv avrO) 
OL TrapaTTopevofievoL Xiyovre^;, on 6 apdp(07ro<; 
ovro'^ de/xeXiov ed-qtce,^ Kal ovk 'la'xycr^'^ ^ e'^- 
TeXeaat. ?; ovv (ipxh ^X^'^^ '^V^ irpoKoirrjv 
7Tpo6vp.co<^ iirl rep ^ KaTopOcopLan. Kal yap ^ 6 
yevvaLoraro'^ dOX7]rr]<; UavXo^;, ^ovX6p.€vo<; ')]p.d<; ^ 
fjLT] eirapiepLpivelv rot? 7rpol3€0tcopL6voi<; ^ dyadol'^, 
dXX^ 6(jr]pLepaL eU to irpoaoo ^ TTpoKOirreiv, Xeyec'-^^ 
Twi/ OTTiaOev iiriXavdavopLevo';, rot? Se epLirpoaOev 
€iTeKT€Lv6pLevo<;, Kara cfkoitov Slcoko) ^^ iirl to 
^pa/Selov t/}9 civco KXrjaew'^. tolovto<; yap virdp- 
yei dXo<^ 6 Twv dv6 pooiroov /3lo<;, pLrj dpK0vp-€V0<; 
TOt? (fjOdaaatv, dXXd Tp€(f)opL€VO<; ov rot? cfiddaaai 
fxaXXov, dXXd tol<; pLeXXovai. tl yap w^eXet 
avOpwirov 6 ')(9i^o^ t?}? yaarpo^; K6po<;, ar}p.€pov 
T/)9 ipL^vTOV ireivti^ ti]v olKeiav r?}? Ppcoaeco^ 
TrapapivOiav firj €upiaKovay]<; ; ourox; ovv ovBe 
•x/rf ^^9 KepSo<; Tov x^eawov ■^^ KaTOpOco/xaTo<;, t?}? 
arip.€pLvr}'=; diroXipLiravopievov hiKaioirpayia';. olov 
yap evpw ere, (f)7]crL, roiovrov ere Kpivco. 

OvKovv fidraLO^; pikv rov SiKaLou 6 kotto';, 
dveyKX7]T0<; Se Kal rod dp-aprcoXov o rpoTTO^;, 
eiTLyevopLevrj^i ivaXXayrj<;, tw fiep diro rod Kpeir- 

^ -KvpyoD C ^ axJTov add. C. 

3 redeiKe C. * avro add. C. 

^ T<^] rh TU)V KaTopdwiJLaTuv t4\os iireiyo/xevrj. rovro yap 
diddaKei Tj/JLcis ru> olKelcp C. 

* yhp oni. C. ' ^ov\6/xevos r]fjLas om. C. 

® Trpo^e^iwiMfvois] ^e^aiov/jLevois tjimv C. 

242 



LETTER XLII 

house, doth not first sit down, and reckon tlie 
cliarges that are necessary, whether he liave wliere- 
withal to finish it ? lest, after he hath hiid tlie 
foundation and is not able to finish it, the passers- 
by begin to mock him, saying : ' This man has laid 
a foundation, and was not able to finish.'" There- 
fore let the beginning contain within itself a zealous 
striving forward toward a successful accomplish- 
ment. Indeed, that most noble athlete Paul,^ 
wishing us not to rest secure in the good deeds 
of our past lives, but to push forward daily, says : 
"Forgettinoj the thinij;s that are behind, and 
stretching forth myself to those that are before, 
I press towards the mark, to the prize of the 
su})ernal vocation." For such is the whole life of 
man — not to be satisfied with what has been, but 
to be nurtured not so much on the past as on 
the future. For what does it avail a man to have 
had a full stomach yesterday, if his natural hunger 
fails to find the proper solace of food to-day ? Just 
so the reward of the soul also is not for the 
achievements of yesterday if to-day's righteous 
conduct is lacking. For He- says, " As I find thee, 
so shall 1 judge thee." 

Therefore in vain is the labour of the righteous, 
and blameless is even the way of the sinner, if 
a change takes place afterwards, in the one from 

1 Phil. 3, 13-14. 

^ Cf. Ez. 7, 3: Ka\ Hpivw ae eV tols udols crov. " I will judge 
thee according to thv wavs." 



^ trp6(Ta cm. C. ^° Keycap C. 

11 SlUKMV C. 12 ^dl^OV C. 

243 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

rovo<; eTTi^ to ^elpov, ray Se airo rov ')(6ipovo<; 
iirl TO KpcLTTov /ji6Ta^Xi]6ipTi. TavTa Kal tov 
'lefe/ci^X ft)? eK Trpoaooirov tov KvpLOv BoyfiaTL^- 
ovto<; ecTTiv aKovaat. ^Kav 'ycip, (f>y]aLP, €K- 
Kkiva^ 6 hiKaiO'^ TrXrjfjL/jLekijarj, ov fir] fivyjaOct) 
TOiv SiKaioavvMV a)v iiroirjaev epiiTpoadev,^ aXX! 
ev TT) d/jLapTLa avTOv airoOavelTai. to he avTo 
(j)r)(TL Kol irepl tov ci/xapTcoXov' ^Eav i7rLaTpeyjra<; 
TTOU]ar) hLfcaLoavvrjv,'^ ^wrjv^ ^I'jaeTai iv avTrj. 
TTov yap 01 ToaovTOL Islwa)') tov OepdirovTO^i ttovol, 
T>)? iv aTiypbfi ^ avTi\oyia^ iTapaypa^ap.kvi]<^ 
avTov TTjv €69 Tr)v yfjp T?}? errayye\ia<^ etaoSov ; 
TTOV Be Kal vj TOV Viet^Tj avvavaaTpo(pri tt/jo? tov 
^I'lXiaaalov, (j)i\o')(^pr]p,aTLa<; X^P^^ Xeirpav iirL- 
(TTraaa/jLevov ; tl Se Kal tov Tr\i]6ov<^ r/}? (T0(^ia<; 
Tw XoXo/jLCJVTL 6(f)e\o<;, Kal y) TrpoXa/Sovaa ToiavTrj 
evvoia 6i9 ©eoz^, vaTepov eK t/)? ^ yvvaLKo/j.avia^;'^ 
eh elhwXoXaT piav avTov ^ eKTreTTTWKOTO^; ; aXV 
ovhe TOV fiaKcLpiov Aa/SiS 6 /leTecopia/jLo^i d(pfjKev 
dveyKXrjTOV, hid tt]v et? ttjv^ tov Ovplov ttXtj/jl- 
fieXeiav. ijpKei be Kai ?/ tov iovda utto tov ^^ 
KpeiTTOvo^ et? to x^lpov /xeraTTTwcrf? tt/oo? dacfiuX- 





6.'S 


C. 






2 


e/u.Tr pocrOey 


OTn. 


C. 












Sti 


add. C. 






4 


(^CDTJ C. 


















TTJS 


eV (TTiyjxr}] 


TV'/J 


CTT 


iyixr\s rris 


c. 




6 


4x 


T?IS 


om. 


C. 




yuvaiKo/jLaviais 


c. 




H 


rovTOv 


c. 
















T^v om. C. 






10 


TfjsC. 

















^ Cf. Ez. 18, 24 : iu 5e t^ anoaTpfipai S'lKaiov (k ttjs 
5iKaioavi'7}s avTov Kal iroiriaai aSiKiav Kara irdcras ras avo/jLias 
&s irolrjaeu u 6.vofxos, iraaai al Sinaioavvai avTov h.s eirolrjaev oh 
/XT) fj.v7](Tdij}(riv iv TCf irapaTTTufxaTi auTOV ei irapimaev koX iv Tats 
a/xapTiaLS aiirov als ri/xapT€U, iv avrais airodave^Tai. " But if 
the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do 

244 



LETTER XLII 

better to worse, and in the other from worse to 
better. Vou may hear even EzechiaH lay clown 
this doctrine as it were in tlie name of the Lord. 
He says, "If the just man turn away and do 
iniquity, I shall not remember all his justices which 
he hath done before, but in his sin he shall die." 
In like manner does he sjieak of the sinner, "If 
he turneth himself and doeth justice, he shall surely 
live."- Where were all the labours of God's 
servant Moses, when a moment's contradiction 
cancelled his entrance into the land of promise? 
Where too was the close companionship of Giezi 
with Eliseus, when through covetousness he con- 
tracted leprosy ? ^ Of what benefit to Solomon was 
his abundance of wisdom and his earlier deep 
devotion to God, when later through his madness 
for women he fell into idolatry ? Nay, not even 
the blessed David was left without blame by his 
exalted state, because he sinned toward the wife 
of Urias.* But Judas' transformation from better to 
worse alone suffices as an example to safeguard 

iniquity according to all the abominations, which the wicked 
man useth to work, all his justices which he hath done 
shall not be remembered : in the prevarication, by whicli he 
hath prevaricated, and in his sin, which he hath committed, 
in them he shall die." 

- Cf. Ez. 18, 27—28 : kuI iv tw airoaTpexpai &vofiov uTrh ttjj 
avofxias avrov f,s i-n-uirjaev Ka\ iroirjaai Kpifia Kal SLKaioavfrjv, ovtos 
TTjv ^vxh^ avTov i(pv\a^fy. Kal oti anfaTpexpeu e/c naawv aaf^fiu-v 
avTOV wv inoiria^v, (oofi (rja^Tai, ov /j.ri airoOavT]. "And when 
the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, 
which he hatli wrought, and doeth judgment and justice, 
lie shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth and 
turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath 
wrought, he shall surely live, and not die.'' 

3 Cf. 2 Kings 5. * Bathsheba. 

245 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

eiav Tov Kara Seou TToXiTevojievov, 09 ev roa- 
ovTOi^ 'X^poi'Oi'i /jLa07]T6vOel<; rw X.picrT^ ^ varepov 
/jLiKpw Xij/jL/jLari TOV BiScicTKaXov d7r€/i7ro\'^aa<;, 
eavTU) ay)(^6vT]v eTrpay/jLaTevaaro. tovto ovv 
yvwGTOv (joi eaTCd,"^ dSeXcpe, on ov^ ica\oi<^ 
dpy(0}xevo<^, ouTO? T€\6io<;, dW Ka\o)<; diron- 
defievo^, ouTo? Bokl/jlo^; irapd 0ew. 

M^ ovv 8ft)9 viTvov Tol<; 6(^9d\fxol<i, dheX^e, 
firjSe vvaray/jLOV^ aoU /SXecpdpot^;, 7va cro)dfj<; 
wairep SopKd<; eK ^pox^v, koI coo-rrep opveov i/c 
irayiho^. /SXeire yap on ev [leaw TraycSayv 
hiaPaivei<i, koX eiravw t€L)(ou<; vyfnjXov 7r€pt7raT6i<;, 
oOev ovK dKLuBvvov T(p KaraireaovTi to irTco/jLa. 
/jLTj OVV €v6e(o<; eh dKpoTrjTa dcrK^aeoi)^ eKTeivr)^ 
aeavTOV fidXtaTa /jL'rjSe^ 6appr]ar)<; aeavTW, 'iva 
fivj e'f direipia^ dcp^ yy^rov^ tP]^ dafcyjcreox; vreV?;?. 
Kpelaaov yap rj KaT oXuyov irpoKOin^. fcaTcc 
fiiKpov OVV KXewTe ra? r)Sovd<; tov /3lov, i^acpavl^ayv 
aeavTov ^ rrdaav avvrjOeiav, fii]7roT€ dOpoco^ 7rdaa<^ 
6/jLov epe6i(ja<; Ta<; rjSovd^; 6)(Xov Treipaafiojv aeavTW 
eiTaydyr]^. rjviKa 5' dv tov ev6<i 7rd6ov<; T?J9 
r)Sovrj<; kutcl fCpaTO^ irepLyevr], iTpo<; T-t]V eTepav 
rjBovrjv TrapuTa^ai, /cal ovtco iraaoov tmv rjBovwv 
evKaipw^ 7T€pLyev/]ay. rj8ovrj<; yap ovo/xa fiev ev, 
Trpdy/jLaTa Be Bidcpopa. tolvvv, aSeX^e, eao 
TrpcoTov fiev v7ro/JLOvy]TLKo<; ^ 7rpo<; iravra ireipaa- 
jjiov. Treipaa/ioh Be TroTairoL^ BoKifid^eTac 6 
7rfc7T09; ^r]ijLiai<^ Koa/jbiKah, eyKXijfiaai, KUTW^eva- 
fxacTiv, d7Tei0eLaL<;, KaTaXaXiah, Bi(oy/jLOL<;. ei9 
TavTa Kal tcl toiuvtu BoKifxa^eTaL 6 maTO^. 



246 



1 Kvpl(f> C. 2 ^o-Tju om. C. 

^ rols 6(pdaKfjLo7s . . . vvarayixhv om, C 



LETTER XLII 

one who lives according to the Lord, for after Judas 
iiad been Christ's disciple for so long, he later 
sold his master for a paltry gain, and by his 
trafficking won for himself a halter. Therefore rest 
assured of this, brother, that it is not he who begins 
well that is perfect, but he who finishes well is 
approved in the sight of God. 

Therefore give no sleep to thy eyes, brother, 
nor slumber to thy eyelids,^ that thou mayest deliver 
thyself as a doe from a net, and as a bird from 
a snare. 2 For, behold, you pass through the midst 
of snares, and walk about on a high wall, from 
which the fall is not without danger to him that 
falls. Accordingly you should not rush straightway 
at full stretch to the highest pitch of asceticism ; 
and most of all do not be self-confident, lest through 
inexperience you fall from the height of asceticism. 
For it is better to advance little by little. There- 
fore by slow degrees steal away from the pleasures 
of life and obliterate every habit, lest by provoking 
all the pleasures at once you bring upon yourself a 
multitude of trials. When you have mightily over- 
come one passion of pleasure, array yourself against 
the next pleasure, and thus in due season you will 
overcome them all. For there is but one word 
for pleasure, but different activities. Therefore, 
brother, first of all be patient under every trial. 
And what are the trials by which the faithful are 
tested .^ Loss of worldly goods, accusations, false- 
hoods, disobedience, slanders, persecutions. By 
these and similar tests are the faithful tested. 

1 Cf. Psal. 132, 4. 2 Qi psal. 124, 7. 

* /iTjSe] et /JL^ C. ^ eavTov C. ^ vvo(jlovi,k6s C. 

247 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

"FjTretra 8e Kal i)av^LO<; eao, fir] 7r/;o7reT^9 iv 
\6ycp, /JLT) ipiaTiKOf;, fir} cpiXoveiKO'^, fjut] K€v6Bo^o<i, 
M ^^'^rpi'TLKo'^, aXka cpiXoTTLaro^;, /jltj iv Xoycp 
TToXi;?, 6tol/jlo<; Be taOu ■•■ aei, /jlt) tt/qo? BiBaa-KaXiav, 
aXKa iTpo<i fxdO-qaLV. fir] irepiepydt^ov /3lov<^ koct- 
/jlckov<;, oOev ovhev aoL TTpoo-yevrjTaL ^ ocpeXo^;. 
(f)y]crl ydp' "Ottoo^ av fii] \a\i](jr] to arofia jjlov 
TCI epya tcov dvdpcoTrayv. 6 yap ?;Seco9 XaXcjv rd 
Tcov dfJiapTcoXcov, erotyLtco? Ka6' eavTov i^virvi^ei 
Ta9 r)8ovd<;. fidWov Se TToXvirpayfiovec rov tcov 
hiKaiodv iBiov ovto) yap dv evpr]a6i<; eavrw 
6(j)6Xo<i,^ /JLT] eao (piXevBeiKTr]^;,'^ Trepcdyoyv Td<; 
KcofjLa<; rj rd^; olKia<;, (pevye Be Tatra? &)? 
^Irv^^ayv 7TaylBa<;. el Be ti<; Bid iroXXrjv evXdfiecav 
TTpoTpeTreTac ae el<^ rov eavrov oIkov, ttoXXojv 
7rpo(f)daeo)v eveKa, fiavOaveTco 6 tolovto<^ ukoXov- 
Oelv Tj] TTiaTec tov eKaTOVTdp)(^ov, 09 tov 'lyaov 
Oepaireia'^ Xdpiv 7rp6<; avTov eireLyopiivov TTaprjTy]- 
aaio Xeycov Kvpie, ov/c elfil iKavo^ 7va /xou virb 
Trjv aTeyrjv elaeXOrj^, dXXd fiovov elire Xoyov, Kal 
la6r]cr€Tat 6 iraU fiov. tov Be 'Irjaov eiTrovro^ 
avTW' "Tiraye, 0)9 i7TLaTevaa<;, yevrjOrJTO) aor 
IdQj] 6 iTal<^ diTO T179 co/3a9 e/celvT]^. tovto ovv 
yvcoarov aoi eaTco, dB6X(f)e, otl ov)( i] tov XpcaTOv 
TTapovaia dXX' r) TrlaTL^ tov uItovvto^ rjXevdepwcre 
TOP KafivovTa. ovtco Kal vvv, aov euxofievov iv 

W fl<^ TOTTW, Kal TOV KdjlVOVTO^i TTLaTeVOVTO^i OTL 

Tai9 a-at9 6L'%at9 /SorjOrjOyjaerai,, diro/SyjaeTat 
avTU) Trdvra KaraOvjjLLW^. 



1 i<ro C. 

^ (^7J(tI yap . . . kavTcf 6(p€Aos oni. C. 
* (pi\€K57ifiriTrjs C. 



248 



LETTER XLII 

In the second place, be quiet of demeanour, 
not hasty in speech, nor contentious, quarrelsome, 
vainglorious, nor given to interpreting texts ; but 
be a man of trust, of few words, and always more 
ready to learn than to teach. Do not curiously 
pry into the affairs of the worldly life from which 
no profit can accrue to you. For it is said, ^^ That 
my mouth may not speak the works of men." ^ 
For he who enjoys speaking of the deeds of the 
sinful readily awakens the })leasures against himself. 
Busy yourself rather with the lives of the righteous, 
for in them you will find profit for yourself. Be 
not ostentatious, going about from village to village 
or from house to house, but avoid these as snares 
for the soul. And if anyone out of great piety 
invites you to enter his house, making many 
excuses, let such a one be told to imitate the 
faith of the centurion, who, when Jesus hastened 
to enter his house to perform a cure, besought 
Him not to do so, saying : " Lord, I am not worthy 
that Thou shouldest enter under my roof, but only 
say the word, and my servant shall be healed." - 
And when Jesus said to him : " Go, and as thou 
hast believed, so be it done to thee," ^ his servant 
was healed from that hour. So be thou aware of 
this, brother, that it was not the presence of Christ 
but the faith of the suppliant that freed the sick 
man of his sickness. So also now, if you pray, 
wherever you may be, and he who is sick believes 
that he will be aided by your prayers, all things will 
turn out for him according to his desire. 



Psal. 17, 4. 2 ^latt. 8, 8. 

3 Matt. 8, 13. 

249 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

UXeov Be rod Kvpiov rov^; otVetoi;? aov /jli] 
ayaTTTfjO'eL'^}- 6 '^jap ayairoyv, (jiijaL, Trarepa r) 
firjTepa r) aSeXcpov^ virep ifie, ovk earc fxov d^LO<;. 
TL Be /SovXerai, i) rov Kvpiov ivroX/] ; Et ti<;, 
(f)r]alv, OVK alpei rov aravpov avrov Kal uKoXovOel 
fiOL, ov Bvvarai pov elvau p.aOr}T/]<;. el avvair- 
iOave<; tw ^piarw airo tcov avyyevcoi^ aov tcop 
Kara crdpKa, tl ttoXlv ev avTOi<; dvaarpecpeaOaL ^ 
6eX€L<; ; el he a KareXvaa'^ Bid ^pLcrrov, irdXiv 
Tavra olKoBop.el'; Bid tou? avyyeveh aov, irapa- 
fidriiv aeavTov^ Ka9iaTa<;^ p.r) ovv Bid XP^^'^ '^^^ 
avyyevMV aov dvax(j^p^'](^l]^ toO tottov aov 
dva^wpoiv ydp Ik tov tottov aov, Laco<; dvaxwp^']- 
aei<; eK ^ rov rpoirov aov. pr] eao 6x^oxapi]<;' 
pLTj (f)tX6x(^po<i, pirj (f)L\o7To\iTT]<;. dWd (f)t\epi]- 
fjLO<;, i(f)^ eauTw p,evwv del dp^eTecopiarcoi;,^ ti^v 
€vx^^ /cal rrjv -^aXpLwhiav epyov rjyovpL€vo<;' 

MijBe T03V dvayvcoapLarwv KaToXiy(op7]a7j<;, 
fidXiara '^ t?}? Nea? ALa67jK7]<;, Bid to eK t?}? 
UdXaidf; Aia97]K)i^ ttoWuki^; /3\d^7]v eyyiveaOai, 
Kal ovx OTi eypd(f)ri pXajBepd, dX>C otl rj twv 
pXaiTTopevwv Bidvoia da6evt]<;. ird<i ydp dpTO<; 
TpocjiipLO^, dXXd Tot? daOevovaiv iTri^Xa/St]^' 
ouTft)? ovv Trdaa Tpaxp)] OeoirvevaTo^ Kal uxpeXt- 



^ ayaTrrfarjs C. ^ vTroarpfcpfcrdaL C. 

^ eavrhv C. * (TvfKTTas C 

^ 4k] Koi C, ^ afj.€pL(rTQ)s C. 

' /j.d\i(TTa] fidOe Ttt C. 

250 



LETTER XLII 

And thou shall not love thy kinsmen more tlian 
the Lord. For He says, '^ He that lovetli father 
or mother or brothers more than Me, is not worthy 
of Me." ^ And what does tlie Lord's commandment 
mean? He says, ^'Whosoever doth not carry his 
cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." ^ 
If, as far as your kinsmen of the flesh are concerned, 
you have died with Christ, why do you wish to 
move among them again } And if you build up 
again for your relatives what you destroyed for 
Christ, you make yourself an apostate. Do not, 
therefore, withdraw from your place of living for 
your relatives' sake ; for if you withdraw from your 
place of living, you will perhaps withdraw from your 
way of living.^ Take no pleasure in the crowd ; 
be not fond of your country, nor fond of your 
fellow-countrymen ; but be fond of solitude, abid- 
ing always by yourself without wavering, and 
regarding prayer and the singing of psalms as your 
work. 

Do not neglect your reading, especially the New 
Testament, for harm often comes from reading the 
Old Testament, not because anything harmful is 
written in it, but because the minds of those who 
are harmed are weak. For all bread is nourishing, 
although to the sick it is harmful. In like manner 
all Scripture is divinely inspired and helpful, and 

^ Cf. Matt. 10, 37: o (piXur Trare, o rj /xTjTepa vTrhp e/ze, 
ovK ecTTi /xov agios' Koi 6 (piXwv vlhv fj Ovyarepa viTfp i/ne, ovk fcni 
jjLov S|toj. " He that loveth father or mother more than Me, 
is not worthy of Me ; and he that loveth son or daughter 
more than Me, is not worthy of Me." 

2 Luke 14, 27. 

^ The play upon T6iros, "place," and rpoTros, "character," 
cannot be exactly reproduced. 

25' 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

yLto?, Kal ovSev kolvov hi avrr)^, el fir] rw Xoyi^- 
Ofievw KOLVOV elvai, ifcelvo) ^ kolvov. Tidvra he 
8oKL/J.a^e' TO KoKov KdTe')(^e' diro iravTo^ eiSov<; 
7TOV7]pov direxov. Yiavra ^ yap e^eanv, dX)C ov 
iravra av/JLcfiepei. eao ovv tol<; avvTuy)^dvovai 
aoL ev iraaiv dirpbaKOiro'^, iTpoGy^api]<^, cpLXdSeX- 
(^0?,^ r)8v<;, Ta7T€Lv6(f)pcov, /jlt) eKTriTrrcov rou 
aKOTTOv T?)? (piXo^evLa^ Bid ^pco/idrcov ttoXv- 
reXeta?, dpKovfxevo^ he toI<; rrapovaL, t/)? kuO- 
rjjjLepivr}^ ')(peia<^ rod /iovi]pov<; ^iov fjn-jhev irXeov 
diTo Tivo<; Xd(3r]<^' Kal /jidXiara (pvye tov ')(^pvaov 
CO? '^1^x5? eTTL/SovXov Kal dfiapTLa<i Trarepa, 
vTTOvpyov he tov hia^oXov. /xr] irpoc^daei tt}? et? 
Tov<; 7revr]Ta<; hiaKovla^ aeavrov^ virohiKOv cpiXo- 
')(^pri ixaria^ KaTacrTi]cnj<^. el he rf? irrw^wv eveKa 
Ko/jilaet, (TOL ')(p7]/jiaTa, yvax; Be rtva^; elvai XeiTro- 
fi€vov<;, avTw eKeivw, u> virdpy^ei rd ')(^pijfiaTa, diro- 
KO/jLLdai, ToU varepoviievoL<i dheX(j)OL<; av/j.^ovXevaov, 
lii^Trore pLoXvvrj aovTrjv (Tvveihrjo-cv rj TMV')(^pr)fidT(jov 

VTTohoxV' 

Ta? r)hovd<; (f>€vy€' rrjv iyKparetav hicoKe' Kal 
TO fiev acofia rot? irovoL^ daKei, Tr]v he '^v)(V^ TOi? 

' in^luo C. ~ "AiravTa C. 

^ (pi\iSe\(pos om. C. * kavrhv C. 

^ Cf. 2 Tim. 3, 16 : iraaa ypacpj) OfSnuevcrros Kal w(pe\i/j.')5 
Trpbs SiSacTKaKiav, irphs (\eyxov, irphs iirayopdwffiv, irphs TtaiBdav 
rriv eV hiKaioavuri. " All scripture, inspired of God, is 
profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in 
justice." 

2 1 Thess. 5, 21-22. 

^ Cf. 1 Cor. 6, 12 : travTa /xoi efeo-Tij/, a\\' ov iravra 
(Tv/bLCpeper irivra fxoi f^eaTiv, aW' ovk ^yai i^ov(Tiaadr}(Touai 
vtt6 rivos. "All things are lawful to me, but all things are 

252 



LETTER XLII 

contains nothing unclean/ except that to him who 
thinks a thing unclean, to him it is unclean. " But 
prove all things ; hold fast that which is good ; from 
all appearance of evil refrain yourselves." ^ For all 
things are lawful, but not all things are expedient.^ 
Therefore, to those who come in contact with you, 
in all things be without offence/ agreeable, loving 
as a brother/ pleasant, and humble of mind ; do 
not forfeit the hospitality^ you seek by extravagance 
in food, but be satisfied with what is set before 
you, taking no more from any man than the daily 
needs of the solitary life require ; and above all 
things shun gold as plotting against the soul, the 
father of sin, and the accomplice of the devil. Do 
not, under the pretence of serving the poor, lay 
yourself open to the charge of avarice."^ And if 
anyone brings you money for the poor, and you 
know of any who are in need, advise the owner 
to take his money and himself give it to his less 
fortunate brethren, lest your conscience be defiled 
by receiving the money. 

Avoid pleasures ; seek continence ; discipline 
your body with hard work ; and accustom your soul 

not expedient. All things are lawful to me, but I will not 
1)6 brought under the power of any." 

■* Cf. 1 Cor. 10, 32 : a.irp6(TKoiroi ylueade koi 'lovSaiois icai 
"EWriai Ka\ rfi iKKXriaiT. rov Q^ov. "Be without oti'ence 
to the Jews, and to tiie Gentiles, and to the church of 
God.*' 

^ Cf. 1 Peter 3, 8 : t}> Se reAos, irivT^s o/nocppoies, <Tv/j.ira6e7s, 
(pi\d5e\(poi, cvairXayxvoi, <pi\6<ppov€5. "And in fine, be ye 
all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being 
lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble." 

^ The free offerings of the pious, on which the monks 
depended. Their gluttony would discourage entertainment. 

' i.e. by collecting alms " for the poor " too diligently. 

253 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TreipacTfioU eOi^e.^ Tr)v aMfiaro^ koi '^f^^'}? 
avaXvaiv ^ diraWayrjv Travro'^ KaKou nOe/xepo^;,^ 
6kS€)(ov "^ TMP alwviwv ayadSiv rrjv airoXavaLV, 
ri<i ircivre^; ol ayioi ixkToyoi ye^yovaai. av Be 
aSiaXeLTTTco^; l^vyoararoiv dvTLTrapaTideao^ rfj 
BiajSoXiKfj ivvoia tov evaejSr} XoyLa/iov, Mcnrep iirl 
Tpvrdvr}^, jf) poirfj t^9 7r\d(7TLy<yo<; TOVT(p irapa- 
"^wpoiv. Kal fidXiara orav iiravacrTdaa i) Trovrjpd 
evvoLa Xeyrj' Ti aoi to 6(^e\o<; Ti]<; ev tw totto) 
TOVTO) Siay(i)y7}<; ; tl aoL to KepBo^ t% dva-^coprj- 
a€(o<; T7]<; diro tcov dvOpdnrcov avpri6eLa<; ; rj ovk 
eyvco<; tov<; Trapd tov ©eoO TeTayp.evov^ iTriaKOTTOv; 
TO)v TOV Seov iK/c\i]ai(ov Tot? dvBpdai avpi]Oco<; 
avvBia^wvTa^ Kal ra? TrvevfiaTLKd^ dBiaXeiiTTw^ 
enLTe\.ovvTa<i iTav)-]yvpei<;, ev aU /xdXiaTd ttgv toU 
7rapayevo/jL€voL<; yiveTai 6<p€Xo<^ ; €Kel yap diroKa- 
Xv\l/ei<; Trapoi/jLiUKcov alpLyfidTcov, XvaeL<^ diro- 
(jToXiKbiv BiBayixaTcov,^ evayyeXiKcov vor^fxdTWv 
efc6€ai<;J 0€oXoyLa<; dKp6aaL<;, dBeX^MV irvev- 
fiaTLKUv (TuvTV)(^iat fjieydXyjv T0t9 evTvy')(^dvovaLv 
€K Ti7? dea<; tov rrpoaooTTOV tj]v 6j(f)eXeiav irap- 
exovTCdv,^ av Be toctovtcov dyaOcov dXXoTpiov 
aeavTov KaTaaT')]aa<; Kd6i)(jai evddBe ^ e^jjypLO)- 
pLevo^ 6(70)9 T0t9 vrjpaiv. opa^ yap ^" evTavua 
rjpepiiav iroXXijp, diravOpwiriav ovk oXiyijv, 
diropiav BiBaaKaXia^;, dBeXcpojv dXXoTplcoaiv, Kal 
TO TTpevpLa Trepl Trjv ivToXrjv tov Seov dpyiav ey(^ov 
TToXXrjV. 

^ €0*^^] KapT^pii C. 2 hiaKvffiv C. 

^ Ti06jU6i/os] irnQoix^vos C. ^ 5e jxuKKov add. C. 

^ avrnrapaTiQii C. ^ ZiaTayixoLTuv C. 

' i.<6fa€is C. 



LETTER XLII 

to trials. Considering the separation of soul from 
body as deliverance from every evil, accept only 
the enjoyment of the blessings which are eternal, 
the enjoyment which all saints have shared. And 
incessantly hold the balances_, and set as it were on 
the pair of the scales, over against every thought 
suggested by the devil, your })ious reflection, there- 
with compensating for the inclination of the scale- 
beam. Do this especially when the evil thought 
rises up and says : '' What does it profit you to 
abide in this i)lace ? What reward do you receive 
for retiring from the society of men } Do you not 
know that those who have been appointed by God 
as bishops of God's churches habitually live in the 
company of their fellow-men, and constantly cele- 
brate the s})iritual festivals, which no doubt bring 
great benefit to those who attend them ? For at 
these gatherings the enigmas of the Proverbs are 
revealed, the teachings of the apostles are ex- 
plained, the ideas of the gospels are set forth, there 
are lectures on theology, and conversations with 
spiritual brethren who by the mere sight of their 
faces confer great benefit upon those they meet. 
You, however, have made yourself so a stranger 
to these many blessings that you sit here reduced 
perhaps to the level of the wild beasts in savagery. 
For you see here nothing but a vast solitude, a 
comi)lete absence of human society, a lack of any 
instruction, an estrangement from your brethren, 
where the spirit experiences a great sluggishness to 
fulfil the commandments of God." 

® avvrvxicLL . . . irapexovTocp] ctvptvx'lo. jx^ydXriv toIs 
avvrvy xo.vova IV e'/c rris irpoaovaris avrois rov HvevfiaTos x^piTos 
Tr)v w(ps\eiav irapexova'a C. 

9 eV0a5e] iyravOa C. i" yap] 5e C. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

'Orav ovv Toiavrat^ Kal ToaavTaL<; euXoyo- 
(^aveai 7Tpocf)da€(7iv iiravaaraaa ?} iTOvqpa evpoia 
Karappfi^ai ^ ere 6e\r], avnirapdOe^i avrf) Bta rou 
€vcr€^ov<; \oyia/jiov rrjv irelpav rod Trpay/xaTO?, 
Xeywv ^Eireihy] av Xeyei^; fxoL KaXa ra iv rco 
KocFfiw elvai, hi a tovto iyo) iuravOa /jL6Ta>K7]aa, 
dvd^LOv ipauTov KpLva<; TOdv rod koct/jLOv koKwv, 
7rapap.6/JLi/craL yap roh rod Koafiov KaXoU ra 
KaKOL, Kal pLoXXov vTrepaipei ra KaKa,^ irapayevo- 
fievo^ yap rrore iv ral<; Trvev/xari/caU iravi-jyvpecTiv 
€vl /JL€v dBeXcpo) yLtoXf? TTore 7r€pLerv)(^ov, ro fxev 
80K6LV, (f)o/3ovp.epo) rov Kvpiov, Kparovfiivo) he 
VTTO rov Bia/36Xov, Kal i]Kouaa Trap* avrov Xoyov^; 
KopLy\rov<^ Kal /jlvOovs ireirXaaiievov^ eh dirdniv 
rcov ivrvy^^^avovrcov.^ 7roXXot<; Se /xer avrov * 
(Tvverv^ov KXeirraL<;, dpira^i, rvpdvvoi<;. elBov 
/jueOvovrcov (j')(rifxa d(T)(^7]jj.ov, ra aifiara rwv 
KaraTTOvov/xevcov. elBov Se Kal KdXXo<; yvvaiKwv, 
/SacrdvL^ov /xov rrjv accKppoavvyjv' Kal ro fiev t>}<? 
TTopveta'^ epyov Siecpvyov rrjv Be efiavrov irap- 
Oevlav ifioXwa Kara Bidvoiav KapBia^;. Kal 
TToXXcov fiev cLKrJKoa Xoycov y\rv)(W(^eXo)v, rrXr)V 
Trap'' ovBevl rcov BiBacTKdXcov evpov d^lav r&v 
X6yo)v rrjv dperi^v.^ fierd Be rovro irdXiv /ivpicov 
7]Kovaa rpaycpBripbdrwv, fieXeai reOpv/jL/ji€voi,<; 
evBeBv/ievcov. irdXiv ^ uKi'jKoa Kiddpa^; t^Bv yx^^^' 
o-r]<;, roiv Kporcov rojv dXXopevwv,'^ rrj'^ (j)a)V)]<; rcjv 
yeXoLaarwv, /jLcopia^i 7roXXf]<; Kal evrparreXia^y 
6)(Xov d/xvdrjrov /3oy]V. elBov ra BdKpva rcov avXi]- 
Oevrcov, ra? 6Bvva<; rwv dTrayofievcov vtto t^9 



256 



^ KaTappTI(T(T€lP C 

" Kal ixuWou virepaipei to /ca/ca Olll. C. 



LETTER XLII 

So when the evil thought rises up and by all 
such specious pretexts desires to crush you, set over 
against it through pious reflection your experience 
of the past. Say : " You tell me that the things 
of the world are good ; but it was for this reason 
that I moved my abode here — that I judged myself 
unworthy of the good things of the world. For there 
are intermingled with the good things of the world 
evil things also, and the evil preponderates. Indeed, 
when once 1 attended the spiritual festivals I found 
with difficulty one single brother who in appearance 
at least had fear of the Lord ; but in fact he was 
under the mastery of the devil, and I heard him 
tell witty stories and tales fabricated for the 
deception of those whom he met. After meeting 
him I fell in with many thieves, robbers, and 
bullies. I saw the shameful sight of drunkards, 
and the blood of the oppressed. I also beheld the 
beauty of women, which sorely tried my chastity ; 
and though I escaped the deed of fornication, yet 
I sullied my purity in the thoughts of my heart. 
I heard many a discourse edifying to the soul, 
but in none of my teachers did I find a virtue 
worthy of their discourses. Next I listened to 
countless songs, clothed however in wanton music. 
Again I listened to a sweetly sounding lyre, the 
clatter of clog-dancers, the voice of buffoons, much 
folly and ribald wit, and the clamour of an enormous 
crowd. I witnessed the tears of those who had 
been despoiled, the anguish of those haled to prison 



^ a'uvTvyxc-^oi>'^wP C. ^ avTOv C. 

° TU)U x6y(tiv ri]V aperTjt/] rhu \6yov C. ^ TriAi '] ar.in\v C 
^ aA.Ao/ieVcoj'] oxovfityj^v C, 

VOL. I. S 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Tvpavviho<^, Ti-jv ol^coyy]V tmv ^aaavL^ofxevcor, kuI 
elSov Kal IBov^ ovk tjv Travyjyvpc^; irvevfjLaTiKrjy 
aWa OdXacraa ave/JLt^o/JLevrj Kal Taparro/xevr],^ 
7rdvra<; o/xov rot? avTr)<^ KVfiaai KaXvyjrac airovha^- 
ovaa. 

Aiye /jlol, c5 kukt] evvoia, Kal 6 rrj^ irpoaKaipov 
rjhvTraOeiaf; re Kal Kevoho^ia^ Sai/jLoyv, ri jjlol to 
6(f)€Xo<; tt}? tovtwv Oewpia^ re Kal cLKpodaew^, 
fJLrjSefl Tojv dhiKOV fievcov j^orjOrjaai la')(yovrL, p.r)Te 
Se Tol<^ dZvvdroL^ iirafivvai ^ fi/jre rov<; a(f)aW- 
ojjL€pov<; SiopOcoaaadai, (Tuy')(^copov/jLeva), rd^a he 
pieWovTL Kal ifiavTov * irpoaaiToWveLV ; wairep 
yap oXcyov vScop KaOapov vtto ttoXX^? ^dXi]^ 
dve/iov Kal Kovioprov d(pavL^€Tai, ovrco^i a vo/jll^o- 
fiev KaXa iv tw ^iw iroLelv ^ vtto tov ttXtjOov^ rSyv 
KaKMv KaXvirreraL. at fiev yap rpaywhiac oiairep 
(TKoXoTre^; tol'; Kara tov /Slav Sl evOvfiia^ Kal 
yapd^ ip rat? Kaphiai^ avTOiv iixirqaaovTai, 'iva 
T?}? yfraXfio)SLa<; eiTLcrKOTicrr) ^ to KaOapov. at he 
ol/xcoyal Kal 6 oSu/jyito? t6)v dhiKOVfievcov dvOpcoTrcov 
nrapa twv ofjLOcpvXcov eirdyovTai, Xva Secx^V "^^^ 
irevTjTcov rj vTro/jLOV^. rt? ovv oi)(f>eXeta epLol,^ rj 
hfXovoTt T/)? '\\rvxrj<i i) /SXd^r] ; 

Aid, TOVTO ovv eyo) fiSTavacrTevco eirl tcl oprj q)<; 
aTpovOiov CO? (TTpovdiov yap eppvaOrjv eK Trj<; 

^ ISou om. C. 2 Kal rapaTTO/xhr] oni. C. 

^ To7s aSwdrois eTra/iDrat] rwv aZiKOvvruv tt/j' 6p/XT]V a.vaK6\pai 
Swa/j-^ucv C. 

* eavTov C. ^ ivwTTiov TUiV dvOpwiruv add. C. 

^ iirKTKOTTiari C. ' i^jLoi om. C. 

^ Gregory of Nyssa's letter on Pilgrimages contains a 
similar picture of the vices of the time as witnessed by him 

258 



LETTER XLII 

by tyranny, and the sln*ieks of the tortured. 1 
looked and behold ! it was no spiritual festival, but 
a wind-swej)t and storm-tossed sea, seeking to over- 
whelm all alike within its billows.^ 

" Tell me, O evil thought, O demon of the 
moment's gratification and vainglory, of what 
benefit is it to me to behold and to hear these 
things, when thereby I gain no strength to aid 
those who are wronged, and it is granted me neither 
to help those who are weak nor to raise up the 
fallen, but perchance I may even bring ruin upon 
myself as well ? For just as a little pool of pure 
water is blotted out by a strong gust of wind and 
dust, so the good deeds we are wont to do in 
life are buried out of sight by the multitude of evil 
deeds. For the songs are like a palisade of stakes 
set up by those of the worldly life in their hearts 
through joy and merriment, that the purity of their 
singing of psalms may be darkened. ^ And the 
groans and moanings of the men who are wronged 
by their fellow-men are introduced to make a show 
of the patience of the poor. What profit, then, is 
there in all this for me — or is it manifestly harmful 
for my soul ? 

" Therefore I migrate to the mountains like a 
sparrow ; for like a sparrow I have been delivered 



in Palestine. Because of the similarity of the pictures and 
because Basil is known to have visited Palestine (cf. Letter 
CCXXIII. 2), Maran suggests that Basil is here also describing 
conditions in tlie Holy Land. 

2 i.e. in moments of gaiety men set up a screen in their 
hearts with songs for entertainment, thereb}- casting a shadow 
ov^er the purity of the kind of song a Christian is wont to 
sing, i.e. psalms. 

259 
s 2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Trayioo'; rcov Oijpevovrcov. koX yap iv Tavrrj rfj 
ipj]/jL(p Bidyco, 0) Kafcr) evvoia, iv fj 6 KvpLO<; 
hierpilBev. ivravda rj Spv<; rj Ma/JL^pry ivravOa 
7] ovpavo(f)6po<; KXlfxa^, /cat at tcop dyyeXcov 
irape/x^oXal al tm 'laKco^ o^Oelaai' ivravOa rj 
epf}iio<; iv y 6 \ao<; dyviaOei'^ ivopLoOerrjOrj, koI 
ovTco<; eZ? rrjv yP]v tT;? i7Tayye\ia<; elcreXdwv elhe 
Qeov. ivravOa to 6po<; to K.apfi7]\L0v iv c5 
'HXta? avXi^ofievo^ tm Sew evrjpecTTiicrev. iv- 
TavOa TO ireSiov iv (o dva')(^copr)cra^"F,a^pa<^ irdaa^ 
Tci? Oeo7rv€va-Tov<; /3i,3\ov'^ TrpoaTay/jLaTi Seed 
i^yjpev^aTO. ivTavOa i) epr]/jLO<; iv fj 6 iiaKapLO^ 
*l(odvvr]<; aKpihoc^aywv fxcTdvoiav toU dvOpcoTToc^ 
iKi'-jpv^ev. ivTavOa to 6po<^ tcov iXaicjv eh b 6^ 
X/3to-T09 dvep)(6/JLevo<; TTpoa-tjv'^eTO, r)/jLd<i SiSdaKcov 
TTpoaevx^^^cLL. ivTavOa 6 XpicrTO'; 6 Trj<; iprjfiov 
(pL\o<;' ^ifal ydp' 'Orrov elal Svo rj rpet? avvrjy- 
jievoL eU TO ifiov ovofxa, ifcel el/M iv fxeaw ^ avTcov. 
ivTavOa rj aTevr] Kal Te6\ifi/iev7-) 6So(; r) dirdyovaa 
€t? Tr]V ^ci)7]V. ivTavda StSdcTKaXoi Kal 7Tpo(f)7]TaL 
ol iv iprjfiiaL^ TrXavco/ievoL, Kal opecrt, Kal 
aTTrfXaiOi^, Kal rat? oirah Trj<; 77)9. ivTavOa diro- 
GTo\oi Kal evayyeXidTai, Kal 6 tcov fiova^cov 
ipi]fjL07ro\lT7]<; ^lo<;. 

'TavTa TOLVvv ^ eKovaiax; KaTaheSey/jLai, 'iva 
\dl3(o direp tol<; fxdpTVcn tov ^piaTOv Kal tol^ 
dWoi<; irdaiv dyloi^ iirrfyyeXTaL' 7va dyjrevBcof; 

^ 6 om. C. ^ eV /xfcrcf] fier' C. 

^ TOLVVv] OVV C, 

^ Cf. Psal. 124, 7 : t) ^vxn vi^^^ ^^ a-Tpovdiov ippvaQi] ix 
rris iraythos rwv B-qpevovTonv 7] irayls avv^rpi^r], koX T]fjLe7s 
ippvadr]/j.(v. " Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out 
260 



LETTER XLII 

out of tlie snare of tlie fowlers.^ For I am livinij^, 
O evil thought^ in the wilderness wherein the Lord 
dwelt. Here is tlie oak of Manibre ; - here is the 
ladder which leads to heaven, and the encampments 
of the angels, which Jacob saw ; here is the wilder- 
ness where the people, purified; received the law, 
and then going into the land of promise beheld 
God. Here is Mount Carmel, where Elias abode 
and pleased God. Here is the plain whither 
Esdras withdrew, and at God's bidding poured forth 
from his mouth all his divinely inspired books. "^ 
Here is the wilderness where the blessed John ate 
locusts and preached repentance to men. Here is 
the Mount of Olives, which Christ ascended and 
there prayed, teaching us how to pray. Here is 
Christ who loved solitude ; for He says, ^ Where 
there are two or three gathered in My name, there 
am I in the midst of them.' * Here is the narrow 
and strait way that leadeth to life.^ Here are 
teachers and prophets, ' wandering in deserts, in 
mountains, and in dens, and in caves of the earth.' ^ 
Here are apostles and evangelists and the life of 
monks, citizens of the desert. 

" Now all this have I accepted willingly, that I 
may obtain what has been promised to Christ's 
martyrs and all other holy men, and that I may 

of the snare of the fow lers. The snare is broken, and we are 
delivered." 

2 Of. Gen. 13, 18 ; 18, I. = cf. 2 p:sdras 2, 14. 

* Matt. 18, 20. 

^ Of. Matt. 7, 14: : on (xrevr] rj ttuAtj, ical TeOKiju/xeur] 7j 
6Shs 7] airayovaa fls rtiV C^vi^, ko^^ oKiyoi slalv ol ^vp'nKovr^s 
avT-qv. "How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way 
that leadeth to life : and few there are that find it 1 " 

« Heb. 11, 38. 

261 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

\iyco' Aia tov<; X070U? tmv %etXea)i^ aov iyco 
i(f>v\a^a 68ov<i afc\rjpci<;. eyvcov <yap tov fiev 
6€0(j)i\.r) ^A/3paa/jL rfj tov Qeou (pwvfj ireidofxevov 
Kal et? Tr]v eprjfMov fieTotKovvra, Kal 'laauK Kara- 
hwaarevofjievov, Kal ^la/coo^ tov iraTpLdpynrjv 
^eviTevovTa, ^Icoayj^p tov crcocppova SiairLiTpaaK- 
ofxevovy T0V(; Trj<; eyKpaTeia^ evpeTa^; rpet? 7raLSa<; 
TTvpopiay^ovvTa^, AavirjX SevTepov €6? XaKKOv 
XeovTcov TTapa^aWo/jievovp- tov TrappTjacaaTrjv 
'lepefiLav eh Xukkov jBoplBopov /caTaBcKa^o/ievov 
'Haatav tov tmv diroKpixpcov OeaTrjv irpi^ofxevov'^ 
TOV ^IcrparjX alxi^ci\(OTi^6pL€V0V' 'Icodvvrjv tov t^<? 
yu,oi;^e/a? €X€y)(ov diroTeixvofievov dvaipovfievov^ 
TQv<; ^ XpicTTOv /jLdpTvpa<;. Kal 'iva tl piaKpoXoyo) ; 
OTTOV ye Kal avTO<; 6 ^wTrjp iaTavpcoOr] virep 
v/jLwv, Iva Tw eavTov OavciTw i)/jLd<; ^woiroLrjcrr), Kal 
iTuvTa^ i)pLd<^ 7rpo<; ttjv VTTO/jbovrjv dXelyjrrj Kal 
kXKvar]. 7rpo<; tovtov iirelyopiaL, Kal irpo^ tov 
UaTepa, kqI to Hvevp^a to dyiov. yv7]aio<; 
evpeOrjvai dyoovi^opLai,^ dvd^Lov e/xavTov^ Kpiva^ 
TOiv TOV KoapLov KaX6)v — 7TXr]v dXX ovBe iyo) Bed 
TOV KoapLOv, dXX* 6 Kocrpio^^ hi ipL€. 

TavTa ovv iv eavTW iinXoyt-topLevo^,^ Kal TeXcov 
avTa '^ a7TovSai(o<i KaTa to elprjpevov croi, dyw- 
viaai VTTep 7?5? dXi-jOeia'^ eo)? davdTOv. Kal yap 
6 XpLaTo<; VTTrjKoo'; ykyove p^k\pi OavdTOV. dXXd 
Kal 6 d7r6aToX6<; ^7;<jf BXeVere pui] ttotg eaTai 
ev TLVL vpLMV Kaphia Trovrjpd, et? to dTToa-Trjvai 
diTo Qeov ^o)VTO<;- dXXd dXX7]Xov<; TrapaKaXecTe,^ 

^ ^aX\6yL^vov C. - 'waaiav . . . TpL(6/j.€i'oy ODl. C. 

^ roO C. ^ aywvi.(6p.evos C. ^ eavrhv C. 

^ Xoyi^oixei'os C. ' irdura C. * napaKaXe^i ai C, 

262 



LETTER XLII 

truthfully say, ' For the sake of the words of thy 
lips I have kept hard ways.' ^ For I know that 
Abraham, beloved of God, obeyed His voice and 
went to dwell in the wilderness ; Isaac was oppressed ; 
.Jacob the patriarch lived in a strange land ; the 
chaste Joseph was sold ; the three children dis- 
covered self-control and fought with fire ; Daniel 
was twice thrown into the lions' den ; the out- 
spoken Jeremias was condemned to a pit of mire ; 
Isaias beheld secret things and was cut asunder 
with a saw ; Israel was led into captivity ; John 
denounced adultery and lost his head, and Christ's 
martyrs have been slain. Why do I speak at 
length, when the Saviour Himself was crucified 
for our sakes, that by His death He might make 
us to live, and that He might anoint us all and 
draw us to endurance .'' To Him do I hasten, and 
to the Father, and to the Holy Spirit. I struggle 
to be found true, having judged myself unworthy of 
the world's goods, save that I also am not because 
of the world, but the world because of me." 

Considering these things, therefore, in your heart, 
and fulfilling them with zeal as you have been 
bidden, struggle for the truth until death. For 
Christ also became obedient unto death. ^ Nay, the 
apostle^ also says: "Take heed lest perhaps there 
be in any of you an evil heart, to depart from the 
living God ; but exhort one another, and edify one 

1 Psal. 17, 4. 

* Cf. Pliil. 2, 8 : irairetuwO'ey eavTov, yevofxevos vTffjKOOS 
IJ-^XP^ GavaTov, davdrov 5e (XTavpov, ''He humbled himself, 
becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the 
cross." 

3 Cf. Heb. 3, 12-13 ; 1 Thess. o, 11. 

263 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kal et? Tov €va oIkoSo/jl€lt€,^ ^XP^^ ^^ '^^ cnj/jLepov 
Xeyerai. to yap aij/iepov ^ (niixaLvei oXov tov 
Xpovov T% fo)/}? rjficov. ovT(o<; ovv TroXirev- 
ofievo^;, aBe\(f)€, Kal aeavrov^ crcoaeL';, Kal r)/j,d<; 
€vcj)pavel<;, Kal tov Sebv ho^daeL<; ei? tov<; al(ova<; 
Tcov alcopcoV' a/jL7]v.^ 

XLITI 

^ovdeaia tt/jo? tov<; veov<; 

Ma^e (TV 6 fjLovd^cov Kal tt^ctto? av6pcd7T0<^, Kal 
T7}9 6vaeff€La<; ipyciTt]^, Kal BiBdxdrjTc evayyeXt- 
Krjv TToXiTeiav, o-a)/j.aTO<; hovKaywyiav, (j)p6vr]/jLa 
Taireivov, ivvoia^ KadapoTrjTa, 6pyr]<; d(f)avLa/jL6v. 
dyyap6v6fJL€vo<;, irpodTlOeL 8id tov Kvpiov diro- 
GTepovp^evo^, p>7] SiKd^ov /jLi(70VfM€V0<;, dydira' 
SicoKo/JLevo^;, dvkyov p\aa^r]iJiovix€VO<^, TrapaKdXec. 
veKpcoOrjTL TT) dfiapTia, crTavpcodTjTL tw 0ew' 
oXiiv Tr)v /jLeptpivav yLteTa^e? eVl tov Kvpiov, "va 
evpe6f)<^ OTTov dyyeXwv fivpcdSe';, irpcoTOTOKcov 
TTavrjyvpei'^, diroaToXwv Opovoc, 7rp0(f)^]TC0v rrpo- 
eBplat, (TKrJTTTpa TraTpiap'X^wv, /lapTvpcov (TT6(j)avoL, 
BiKaicov eiraivoL. eKeivoL^ aeavTov rot? BiKaLot<; 
€7ri6vfjLr)o-ov (TvvapidfjLyjOfjvai, iv XpiaTO) ^Itjo-ov T(p 
Kvpiw -qfjioiv. avTw rj 86^a eh tov<; alo)va^. djjLrjv. 

^ olKoBofxovvTes C. 

^ \4y^Tai. rh yap cn'tiJLepop] o C. ^ ^avrhv C. 

* TeAos d€(v ayicf toiv iTriaroXiv tov /ji.eyd\ov ^SaciAefou add. C. 

* Cf. the preceding letter, note 1. This address is rather 
a sermon than a letter. In fact it does not appear in any of 
the MSS. of the letters thus far collated. In the old order 
of the letters (Paris edition. 1618) it is number two, appear- 
264 



LETTER XLIIl 

another, whilst it is called to-day." For " to-day " 
signifies the whole period of our life. Accordingly 
if you live thus, brother, you will not only save 
yourself, but you will also })lease us, and glorify 
God from everlasting to everlasting. Amen. 



LETTER XLIII 

Admonition to the Young ^ 

Learn, thou who livest the solitary life and art 
faithful, and art a worker of piety, and be taught 
the life of the gospel, which is enslavement of body, 
humility of mind, purity of thought, and suppression 
of wrath. When forced into the service,^ consent 
for the Lord's sake ; when defrauded, appeal not to 
the law ; when hated, love ; when persecuted^ 
endure ; when blasphemed, deprecate. Be dead to 
sin, be crucified for God ; transfer all your cares to 
the Lord, that you may be found where are the 
myriads of angels, the assemblies of the first-born, 
the thrones of the apostles, the seats of the prophets, 
the sceptres of the patriarchs, the crowns of the 
martyrs, and the praises of the just. Seek to be 
numbered among those righteous men^ in Jesus 
Christ our Lord. To Him be the glory for ever. 
Amen. 

ing between Letter XLII (To Chilo) and Letter XLIV (To a 
Fallen Monk). It was probably taken over from certain 
MSS. of the homilies. 

^ Cf. Matt. 5, 41. Koi uarts tre ayyapevafi filKtov eV. vtraye 
fjLCT avTov Zvo. "And whosoever will force thee one mile, go 
with him other two." 

265 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

XLIV 

H/jo? fJiova-)(pv eKTTecrovTa ^ 

Haipeiv ov Xeyofiev, on ovk eari y^aipuv rot? 
aaefikdiv. en yap airiaTia jie irepiex^i, fcal ovk 
i7Tep')(€TaL fiov eh rrjv Kaphiav to tyiXckovtov 
inoTTrjfxa koI to iiny^€ip'i'}[ia to /leya o €7rpa^a<^, 
el ye KaTa to cj^acvofievov tjBt] iraaiv ovtco<; e^et. 
6av/jLd^co yap ttw? rj ToaavTr) aod)ia KaTeiroOr], 
7r(o<; T) ToaauTTj aKpi^eia BieXvOrj, iroOev rj 
ToaavTT] TV(j)\o)(Ti<; irepiex^d^h t'"^? fitj^ev to 
avvoXov ivr07]cra<; TOLavTrjv /cal ToaavTi^v air- 
ooXeLav '\j/v)(^a)v elpydaco. el yap dXy]Oh tovto, 
7rapaSe8(OKa<; /cal Tr)V aavTov '\jrv)(^rjv tw jSvOw, 
Kal TTuvTcov T(bv ciKovovTwv TTjv dai^eiav TaVTTJV 
TOP Tovov iTape\v(Ta<i. ttjv TriaTiv rjdeTrjcra^,^ tov 
dy(ovo<; tov koXov r)aT6')(^i]aa^. Sto akyo) eirl aoi. 
TTOLO^ yap lepev'^ clkovwv ov Oprjvijcrec ; ttoZo? 
eKK\7jaiaaTiKo<; ov KOTTTeTat ; irolo'^ \alKO<; ov 
aKvOpwird^ei ; 7roto9 d(TKr]Tr)<; ov irevOel ; Tdyji 
Kal 6 rfKio<^ ecTKOTaaev eirl tw aw TTTcofiaTi, Kal 
at 8vvdfjLeL<; twv ovpavwv iaaXevOrjaav eirl ttj o-fj 
dircoXeia. eBdKpvaav Kal ol dvaiaOrjTOL XiOoi 
errl Tjj afj /lavia, eKXavcrav Be Kal ol e)(6 pol Sid 
T7]v V7rep0o\7]v Tr]<; dvofjila^; aov. 

^ Addit Regius 1908, sed manu recentiore, 'AXe^iov. irpos 
diaKouou iKireaSuTa Cod. Colbert. 457. 
^ Trjv TTicTTiv 7)deTr](Tas om. C, D. 

^ Of. Letter XLII, note 1. As in the case of Letter XLII, 
no ancient MS. of the correspondence contains this work. 
The family Ac alone recognizes it. Like Letter XLII it 
266 



LETTER XLIV^ 

LETTER XLIV 

To A Fallen Monk ^ 

We say not, " Be it well with thee," inasmuch as 
it cannot truly be well with those who are 
impious. For incredulity still holds me, and my mind 
cannot conceive of so great an iniquity and crime 
as you have committed, if indeed the truth of the 
matter is as it by this time appears to all the world. 
I wonder how such wisdom as yours was swallowed 
up,'- how such strictness became slack, how such 
blindness came to envelop you, how you were so 
utterly thoughtless as to work all this lamentable 
destruction of souls. For, if all is true, you have 
not only given your own soul over to the pit, but 
you have slackened the zeal of all who hear of 
this impiety. You have set aside the fsiith, you 
have missed the glorious fight. Therefore do I 
grieve for you. For what priest will not lament 
when he hears this ? What ecclesiastic does not beat 
his breast ? What layman is not downcast .'' What 
ascetic does not mourn ? Mayhap, even the sun was 
darkened at your fall, and the stars of heaven tottered 
at your destruction. Even the unfeeling stones shed 
tears at your madness, and even your enemies wept 
because of your exceeding transgression. 

seems to have been edited for the first time at Venice in 
1535, and inserted regularly in the later editions of St. 
Basil's correspondence. A very few but important MSS. 
(some of the Parisini) of the homilies contain the present 
letter. Yet it is not considered as belonging even to the 
tradition of the homilies, since it is not regularl}' reproduced 
therein, as are Letters XLV and XLVL 
* Cf. note 2, p. 269. 

267 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

*n 7roXX% iTCOpcoaeco^, w Seivrj<i ODfjLorrjro^i. ov 
Seov i(j)o^7]0r}<;, ovk avOpdo7rov<; rjSea07]<;, ov 
(^iXou? eveTpd'Tni<^' aW' opbov irdvra ivavdyT]aa<;, 
ofiou Trdvra iav\i]Oy]<;. Sio nrdXiv d\yo) iirl cro/, 
dOXie. 6 tt}? /3acrL\€ia<; irdcn tov tovov dira^y- 
yiXkcov T7J9 paaikeia<; efeVecre?. o t?}? SiBaaK- 
akia^ TOV (po/dov irdcnv i/jLTroiMv ovk ecrx^^ 
(f)6^ov Seov direvavTi rcov o<^6a\[X(av crov. 6 
dyLwavvrjv K^ipvcrawv ivayr]<; evpiaKr], 6 iirl 
dKTTjpoavvr} crepvvvopevo^ av\o)(^pr)paTO)V icpevp- 
laKrj. 6 TVjv TOV ©eoO KoXaaiv iTTLSeiKvvfjLevo^ 
Bid tt)? vj)r]yrja6(o<^ avTO<; KoXacnv aeavTW irpoe^ev- 
7j(Ta<;. TTW? ae Oprjvijao) ; ttw? dXyijaco iirl aoi ; 
7r(t)<; i^eirecrev 6 €CDa(j)6po<; 6 irpwl dvaTeXXcov fcal 
avveTpi^i] iirl t?;? yPj^ ; iravTO'^ dicovovTO<; ri')(^rj(TeL 
Ta dpcpoTepa cora. ttw? 6 ^a^ipalo<; 6 eKXdpirwv 
virep ')(^pvaLOV ia-KOTaaev virep da^6Xr)v ; vlo<^ 
%Lcov 6 Tt/xf09 77 w? iyevETO aK€vo<; d)(pr}aTov ; ov 
rj p^vrj/jLT] Tcov Oeicov rpa(f)cov vtto TrdvTcov iXaXeiTO, 
ayjpepov dircoXeTO to pvrjpoo-vvov avTOv peT ^'ixou. 
6 6^VV0V<i 6^€(0<i diTcoXeTO. 6 TToXvvov^ TToXv- 
itXokov dpapTiav elpydaaTo. ol yap od<f>eXr)pevoi 
VTTO T7]<; cry]<; 8LSaa/caXia<; i/SXd^rjaav vtto tt)? af](; 
aTTwXeta?. ol ra? dKod<; irapaTidevTe'^ iirl ttj arj 

^ Cf. Lam. 4, 7 and 8. 'EKaOapidi-Orjaav Na(eipa7oi avr^s vTrep 
X^^va, ^\a}xy\iav virep ydXa, iirupwdrjaav virep Xidovs, (raircpeipov 
rh air 6 (TIT aajxa avrwu. 'EaKOTaaev virep a(T^6Kr]v rh eiSos avTwv, 
OVK eiTeyuw(r6r]aav ev rals e^6doiS- iirdyr] Sepjua avrwv eirl to 
oarea avruv, i^rjpdvOrjaau, eyevridrjaap uairep ^vkov. " Zain. 
Her Nazarites -were whiter than snow, purer than milk, 
more ruddy than the old ivory, fairer than the sapphire. 
Heth. Their face is now made blacker than coals, and they 
are not known in the streets : their skin hath stuck to their 

268 



LETTER XLIV 

Alas for your hardness of heart, your terrible 
cruelty ! You feared not God, you were not 
ashamed before men, you paid no heed to your 
friends; but all alike you shipwrecked, of all alike 
you deprived yourself. Therefore again do I grieve 
for you, wretched man 1 You who proclaim to all 
your zeal for the kingdom fell from the kingdom. 
You who instil fear of the doctrine in all men had 
no fear of God before your eyes. You who preach 
sanctity are found polluted. You who glory in 
poverty are caught stealing money. You who 
through your guidance set forth God's punishment 
have procured punishment for yourself. How shall 
I lament for you ? How shall I grieve for you ? How 
did the early-rising Lucifer fall and meet destruction 
upon earth ? The two ears of everyone who hears 
thereof will ring. How did the Xazarite ^ who was 
brighter than gold become blacker than coals ? How 
did the honoured son of Sion- become an unclean 
vessel ? Of him whose memory of the Holy Scrip- 
tures was noised about by all, the remembrance 
has this day perished as soon as the ringing 
ceases. 3 The man of quick intelligence has quickly 
perished. The man of a manifold mind has committed 
a manifold sin. For they who have been aided by 
your teaching have been injured by your destruction. 
Those who gave ear to your discourses have stopped 

bones, it is withered, and is become like wood." Basil 
undoubtedly has this portion of the Scriptures in mind here, 
although he makes very loose use of it. 

- Cf. Hosea 8, 8. Kam?6Qri 'lapa-qX, vvv iyeveTO iv toTs 
Il6v((nv ws aK€vos ^XP'^^'^'^^^ "Israel is swallowed up : now 
is he become among the nations like an unclean vessel." 

^ i.e. as soon as the words about the fall of this man cease 
to ring in our ears, we have forgotten him. 

269 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ofxCkia ecppa^av ra o)Ta iirl rfj afj aTTcoXeia. iyco 
Be Op-qvodv Koi (TKvOpctiird^wv,^ /cal jrapeifievo^ 
TrdvroOev, Kal cnrohov ooael dprov eaOiwv, Kai 
aoLKKov eVt rfj 7r\r]yy /jlov iTnp'piy\ra<^, roiavrd 
(TOi ejK(iiiJ,La hie^epxop^cLL' fxaWov he eiriTac^iovs 
X6yov<; avvrdcrawv, dirapdKXrjro^; Kal dOepaTrevro^i 
SiareXo)- ore irapuKXr^ai^ KeKpyirrai diro tcov 
6(f)da\/jLa)v fjLOV, Kal ovk eari fidXay/ia einOelvai, 
ovre eXatov, ovre KaTaSeafMov;' eart, yap 7) 
irXriyrj /mov oSvvrjpd. iroOev lad)]crofiaL ; 

Et Tt? ovv ejL iXirU viroXeiiTeTai aoL acoT7]pLa<;, 
€L Ti? ^pa^^la pLvrjixr) irepl rov Seov, el rt? iroOo^ 
TCOV fxeXXovTwv dyaOwv^ et tl<; (j)6^o<; rcov reOr)- 
aavpLa/jL€Vcov KoXdaecov rot? d/ieravo7]TOL<;, dvd- 
vrjyjrov Ta')(^ew^, eirdpov tov<; 6(f>0aXfiov<; aov eU 
Tov ovpavov, eXOe et? avpaiaOrjaiv, iravaaL diro 
Tf/9 iTOvrjpia<^ aov, diroaeiaaL ttjv irepL'xyOelcrdv 
aot fxedyiv, i-Travdara tw Kara^aXovn ae. ca')(^v- 
(Tov Ik 77}? iiravaarrjvat. fivrjadrjTL tov dyaOov 
7roi/ievo<;, otl KaTaSicoKcov efeXetrat ae. Kav y^ 
Bvo aKeXrj, 7) Xo/3o^ cotlov, diroiTrjh^aov diro tov 
Tpav/jLaTLaavT6<; ae. ixvrjaOrjTi tcov oIktlp/jl(ov 
TOV (deov, OTL OepaiTevei eXatw Kal oXvw. firj 
d7reX7riaT}<; Tr)v acoTijpiav. dvdXa(3e ttjv /xvij/jLrjv 
TO)v yey pa fifxevwv, otl 6 ttltttcov dviaTaTaL, Kal 
6 diroaTpe(^cov i7naTpe(f)eL' 6 ireirXiiyo)'^ Oepa- 
ireveTaL, 6 Or]pLdXcoTO<; TrepcyLveTaL, 6 e^o/xo- 

^ Koi TrapKTToi/xevos arKvdpwTr6s add. C, D. 

2 €l C, D. 

^ Cf. Amos 3, 12. rdSe Keyet KvpioS'^OurpSirov orav iKairdffT} 
6 iroi/xr]v e/f CTO^iaTos tov \iovTos 5vo er/ceATj ^ kofihv wt'lov, 

270 



LETTER XLIV 

their ears at your destruction. As for me, lamenting 
and downcast, utterly undone, eating ashes for 
bread, and having cast sackcloth over my wound, 
I recount your praises in this fashion ; or rather, as 
I compose a funeral address for you, I remain dis- 
consolate and neglected ; for consolation has been 
hidden from my eyes, and I have no salve, no oil, no 
bandage to apply ; for my wound is painful. Where- 
Avith shall I be healed? 

Now if any hope of salvation still remains in you, 
any slight recollection of God, any desire for the 
good things to come, any fear of the punishments 
treasured up for the unrepentant, come back to 
sobriety at once, lift your eyes to heaven, come to 
your senses, cease your wickedness, shake off the 
drunkenness that has drenched you, rise up against 
that which has overthrown you. Have the strength 
to rise from the ground. Remember the Good 
Shepherd, that He will follow after you and drive 
you into safety. Though it be but " two legs, or 
the tip of the ear," ^ spring back from him who 
wounded you. Be mindful of God's compassion, 
that it heals with oil and wine. Do not despair of 
salvation. Call to mind what is written, that he 
that falleth shall rise again, and he that turneth 
away shall turn again ; ^ the wounded is healed, he 
that is caught by wild beasts escapes, he who con- 

outcjos iK(nraadr)(T0PTai ol viol 'l(rpctr]\ ol KaroiKovpTes iu 'S.afj.apeia. 
" Thus saith the Lord : As if a shepherd should get out of 
the lion's mouth two legs, or the tip of the ear: so shall the 
children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria." 

^ Cf. Jer. 8, 4. on raSe Xeyei Kvptos- Mr) 6 ■niiTTccv ouk 
avi(rTarat ; ri 6 airo(TTp4(pccu ovk ayacTTpecpei ; '" Thus saith the 
Lord : Shall not he that falleth rise again? and he that is 
turned away, shall he not turn again ? " 

271 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

\oyovfjL6VO<; ov/c airopaXkeraL. ov 6e\ei yap 6 
KvpLO^ Tov Odvarov rod afiapToikov, &)? to 
iinaTpe'^aL kuI ^fjv avrov. fir] o)? 6i9 ffd6o<; /ca/ccov 
ifiTreacbv KaTa(^povi']ar}<;. 

K.aipo<; dvo)(r)<; earl, Katpo^ /jLaKpodv/jLla<;, Kaipo<; 
lda€co<;, Kaipo<; BLop6a)(T€(o<;. (jo\iadr](Ta<; ; ef- 
eyeipov. }]p.apT€<; ; r)av')(^a(Tov. /jli] cttt}? iv 6Sa> 
dfiaprcoXoJv, dWd diT07ri]h'}aov. orav yap iirt- 
aTpa(f)el<; arevd^r}^, Tore acoOyjarj. ecrrt yap eic 
iTovcov vyeia, koI e'f iSpcoTcov acoTrjpia. 6 pa ovv 
fjLrj TTore, avvOi^Ka^ ^ov\6p.6v6<; nvcov (^yXdrreiV, 
irapa^fi'^ rd^ irpo^ tov ^ ^eov avvSi-jKa^, a? 
co/ioXoyyjcra'; eVl iroWcov fxaprvpwv. /jltj ovv Bid 
TLva<^ \oyLcrpov<; dvOpwirivov^; 6Kvrjcrr)<; iXOelv 
TTpo'^ p,e. iyo) yap dvaXa^oiv tov veKpov /lov 
6pr]V7]a(o, iyco Oepairevaco, iyoo iriKpoi'; KKavaoiiai 
lirX TO (JvvTpifJbiJLa T^9 6vyaTpo<; tov yevov<; fiov. 
Traz^re? ere 8e)(ovTai, 7rdvTe<; aoi av/juirovrja- overt,. 
fiT] dvairearj'^' p.vr]aOrjTC rj/iepMV dp)(^aLcov. ecTTt, 
acoT7)pLa, eaTL hi6p6waL<;. Odpaei, /itj dTreXiricrr}';. 
ovK eaTL v6fjL0<; KaTaSiKd^cov tov %&)/3t9 olKTipfiwv 

1 rhv om. C, D. 

^ Cf. Ez. 18, 32. Si6ti ov 64\ci) rhv davarov tov a.iro9vr}crKoyTos, 
Xey€i Kvpios' Koi i-ma-TpeipaTe /col (ri(raTe. " For I desire not 
the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God ; return 3'e 
and live." 

2 Cf. Prov. 18, 3. orav ikQr) aae^i^s els fiddos kukuv, Kara- 
(ppove'i, iirepx^Tai Se avT^ arifxia Ka\ ofeidos. ' ' The wicked 
man, when he is come unto the depth of sins, contemneth : 
but ignominy and reproach follow him." 

^ Cf. Psal. 1, 1. /xaKapios avrjp t)S ovk iiropevdri iv )8ouXf? 
aaeBcov Koi iv 65(j} kfxaproiKwv ovk co'ttj, /col iirX KadeSpav Xoi/j-up 
OVK iKadiaey. "Blessed is the man who hath not walked in 

272 



LETTER XLIV 

fesses is not rejected. For the Lord desiretli not 
the death of the sinner, but that he return and 
live.^ Do not, as one who lias fallen into the depth 
of sin, be contemptuous.- 

There is still time for forbearance, time for long- 
suffering, time for healing, time for reform. Have 
you slipped ? Rise up. Have you sinned .^ Cease. 
Do not stand in the way of sinners,^ but leap aside. 
For when you turn back and weep, then you will be 
saved. For out of labour cometh health, and out of 
sweat, salvation. Beware, therefore, lest, in your 
desire to keep agreements with others, you trans- 
gress your agreements with God, which you have 
confessed before many witnesses.* Therefore do 
not for any worldly considerations hesitate to come 
to me. For I shall take up my dead and weep, 1 
shall care for him, '^ I will weep bitterly " ^^for the 
devastation of the daughter of my people." ^ All 
are ready to receive you, all will aid you in your 
troubles. Do not lose heart ; remember the days of 
old. There is salvation, there is reform. Take 
courage, do not despair. There is no law which 
condemns to death without compassion, but there is 

the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, 
nor sat in the chair of pestilence." 

* Cf. 1 Tim. 6, 12. aycovlCou rhv Ka\hv ayuva tt)S Triareccs- 
4iri\afiov TTjy alcvviov (ojris, els ^u nal iKhr^d-qs, /cot wiJ.o\6yr](ras 
tV Ka\riv 6/xo\oyiav ivwtriov iroWuv /xapTvpuv. "Fight the 
good fight of faith : lay hokl on eternal life, whereunto thou 
art called, and hast confessed a good confession before many 
witnesses." 

^ Cf. Isa. 22, 4. Sio tovto elira,''A(p€Te /J.e, TriKpws KXaviJofxai' 
/XT} Karicrx^crriTe ■napaKakelv ue eVl t^ (TvvTpi/u.ij.a ttjs Ovyarphs 
Tov yivovs fxov. " Therefore have I said : Depart from me, I 
will weep bitterly : labour not to comfort me for the devas- 
tation of the daughter of my people." 

273 

VOL. I. T 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ddvarov, aWa %api9 vTrepriOe/JLevT] TrjV KoXacnv, 
i/c86)(^o/ievi] Tr)V BiopOcoaiv. ovttco eKXeladrjaav 
ai Ovpar ciKovei 6 vvfMcjiLO';' ov Kvpievec afxapTia. 
avaTrakaidOV ttoKlv /irj Karo/cvjjcrrjf;' kol aeav- 
Tov OLKTeiprja-ov koI 7rdvTa<^ ^;yu.a9 iv XpicTTW 
^1t](Tov Tcp K^vpiw r)/ji(ov, oj r) ho^a kol to Kpdro'^ 
vvv Kal del eh tou? aloova^; twv alcovcov. dpn'jv. 



XLV 

rT/Qo? /xovd^ovra eKireaovTa 

AcTTO'^ fioi (f)6ffo<; ive(7Kr)\jre tol^ t?}? hLavoia<; 
Ko\'TTOL<; ifc tt}? irepl ae VTTo9ecrecL><;. rj ydp tl<; 
dav/ji7raOr](; rpoiTO^ tt poKarap^d/xevo^; eh /xiaav- 
OpcoTrla'; -"• eyKXrjfjid fxe piirrei, rj av6L<; avixiraOelv 
eOekovra kol 7Tp6<; rd irdOr] KarajuLaXa/ct^eadaL,^ 
Kafc6!)<; fieTaTiOrjcTt.^ hioirep /cal Siaxapdrreiv 
/xeXXcov TOVTL fiov TO ypdfji/ia, rrjv fiev %6t/3a 
vapKOjaav roh Xoyiafioh ivevpcoaa, to Be irpoar- 
(OTTOv, 7]7Topr}fjLevov eK tt)? eVl aol KaT7](f)eLa<;, 
dXXoicoaaL ov/c l(j')(yaa, ToaavTr}<^ /jlol iirl aol 

^ jiiaab^Xcpias E. 

^ /coTa,uaAa/v-i^e(T0ai] jxt] fxaXaKL^eadai E, 

3 diaTiOricn C, D. 



1 Cf. Letter XLII, note 1. Letters XLV and XLV I maj- 
be considered together as regards autlienticit}', bat they can 
in no ^vay be associated with any of the three preceding. 
Unlike the preceding letters, they have an almost unanimous 
tradition in the MSS. of the letters (XL VI is missing in 
Parisinus 1020 S), and a strong tradition in the MSS. of the 

274 



LETTER XLV 

grace which remits tlie j)unishinent and accepts tlie 
reform. Not yet closed are the gates ; the bride- 
groom hears ; sin does not prevail. Renew tlie 
contest ; delay not ; and have pity on yourself and 
on us all in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be the 
glory and the power, now and for ever, world without 
end. Amen. 



LETTER XLV 

To A Fallen Monk ^ 

A TWOFOLD fear has fallen upon me, reaching to 
the innermost recesses of my heart, because of you. 
For either a certain unsympathetic predisposition of 
mind lays me open to a charge of inhumanity, or 
else, when I wish to be sympathetic and indulgent 
with your infirmities, these change me for the worse.- 
Hence, even as I set out to write this letter, though 
by reasoning I can nerve my benumbed hand, yet 
my countenance, distressed by the dejection I feel 
for your sake, 1 have not the strength to alter, so 
great is the feeling of shame that overwhelms me 

homilies. Letter XI.YI was translated into Latin as a 
homily by Rufinus, which, however, merely indicates the 
antiquity of its tradition in the MSS. of the homilies, but not 
any superiority therein over its tradition in the MSS. of tlie 
letters. Both letters contain a style and a Biblical colouring 
similar to that of Basil's homilies, and unlike that of the 
preceding letters. In fact Letter XLV has many similarities 
with Homily VI of the Hexaemeron. Accordingly, Letters 
XLV and XL VI are considered genuine. 

2 i.e. these infirmities of yours compel me to assume a 
hostile attitude. 

275 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

K€Xvi^ev7j<^ ^ alcrx^vT)^, co? ical ttjv tov aro/jLarof; ^ 
av/uLTTTV^iv 7rapa')(p7]/jLa Triirreiv, rcov '^(^etXicjv fiou 
6t9 K\avO/jLOV eKTpeiTOfievcov. ol/jloi, tl <ypd\jrco, 
Tj TL Xoylcro/jLai ev TpcoScp a7r€LXr]/jifjLepo<; ; 

''Eav eXOco et? fivTJfjiijv t?)? 7rpoT6pa<; aov 
/jLaraia^ ^ ava<JTpo<^rj<^, ore ae * Trepteppet 7rXovTO<; 
KoX TO x^^fiepirh^ ho^dpLov, (f)piTTO)' rjvUa eiireTo 
aoL KoXaKcov TrXr]6o<; ^ kol Tpv(^rj^ d7r6Xavcn<; 
7rp6aKaipo<; /xera irpoc^avov'^ Kivhvvov fcal clBlkcov 
TTopcov KOI ttT; jxev dpyovTiKoX (po/Soi hieppiiTi^ov 
aov TYjV rr}? ' cra)T^]pLa<; virovoiav, tttj he hrj/jLoalcov 
Oopv^oL BceadXevov aov t)]v kaTLav, 7] re avvo^V 
TOdv KUKcov direa^aipL^e aov tov vovv tt/jo? tov 
Svvd/jL€v6v aoL ^ot-jOelv 7]VLKa KaTo, fiiKpov ifxeXe- 
Ta<i TTept^XeireaOai^ tov X(OTi]pa, (fiepovTa /jl€V 
7rpo<i c>)(j)e\ecav tov<; (j)6ffov<;, pvo/ievov Si ae koI 
aKeiTovTa, irai^ovTa KaT avTov ev rat? dSeiaL<;' 
7]ViKa eyvfivd^ov tt/co? fxeTa^oXrjv ae/jLvov Tpoirov, 
a/cv/BaXi^ayv fiev aov tvjv ttoXvklvSvvov irepi- 
ovaiav oIkov re Oepairelav koX avvoUov ofiiXidv 
d7rapvov/j.€vo<;. 6Xo<; he /icTdpaio^;, wairep ^evoq 
fcal dXi]Tt-]^, dypov^; koX iroXei^ i^afiel/Scov, kut- 
eSpa/jie<; eirl tcl 'lepoaoXvjxa, evda aoL Kal avTo<^ 
avvhiaTpipoav epLafcdpi^ov TOiV dOXr^TiKcov ttovcov,^ 
0T6 €/3SofjLaTiKOL<; KV/c\oi<; vr}aTL<; SiaTeXcov ©ew 
'7Tpoae(^LXoa6(^eL^, 6p,ov Kal ra? tmv dvOpcoirayv 
auvTv')(^ia<i Xoyo) t/dottt)? v7ro(p€vyo)V, i)av')(^iav he 
Kal fJLOvoTpoTTiav eavTw e(pap/jL6aa<;, tou? ttoXl- 

^ eVl (To\ K€XVfjl.4v7)s] iTTLK^XVIXiVriS B, C, D. 

^ CTo^aTos] act>/j.aTOS E. ^ /xaraias aov Trporepas E. 

* (Toi C, D. ^ X°/"°''PP^'''^5 -B* 

6 7rAjj0Tj A, D. ' T^s] trphs B. 

276 



LETTER XLV 

on your account — so great, indeed, that the portals 
of my mouth straightway fall apart, and my lips are 
turned to sobbing. Alas! What shall I write? 
How shall I reason out my course, halted as I am 
at a meeting of three ways ? 

If I call to mind your past life of vanity, when 
wealth flowed in streams about you, and the paltry 
glory of groundlings, I tremble. In those days you 
were followed by a crowd of flatterers, and by a 
temporary enjoyment of luxury attended by mani- 
fest danger and unjust gains ; at one time fears of 
magistrates dispelled your thoughts of salvation ; at 
another, upheavals in public affairs disturbed your 
hearth, and a succession of misfortunes caused your 
mind to rebound toward Him who has the power 
to help you. Then little by little you meditated 
how you might see the Saviour, who brings fears for 
your good, but yet rescues you and protects you, 
though in your moments of security you mock Him. 
Then you began to train yourself for the adoption of 
the pious life, rejecting with disgust your perilous 
affluence, and denying yourself the comfort of a 
home and the society of a wife. Then, wholly 
lifted up, passing like a stranger and wanderer 
from farm to farm and from city to city, you made 
your way to Jerusalem. Here I myself lived and 
rejoiced with you for your ascetic labours, when 
unremittingly you fasted on alternate weeks and 
speculated about God, at the same time shunning 
the society of men on the pretext that you desired a 
change, though in fact, by avoiding the turmoils of 
civil life, you procured for yourself quiet and soli- 

® (Toi add. E, F. ' rhu aOXrjTiKhv it6vov E, 

277 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TiKov<^ 6opv/3ov<; i^eKXiva^.^ aaKKW he rpa'X^el^ 
TO aMjJLci crov ^ SiavvTrcov, koI ^(t)vrj aK\r]pd ttjv 
6a(j)vv (Tov irepiacftLyycov, KaprepiKO)^ ra ocnd aov 
SiiOXiffe^. Xayova^ he ral^ ivheiai^ Koikaivwv 
p-e^pi TCdv vwTiaiwv [xepwv vireyavvwaa^' kcCi 
(f)a(JKia^ fxev airaX.r)'^ ttjv ')(^prjaiv aiT7]pvi](T(D, 
evhoOev he ra? \a7rdpa<;, aiKva<; hiKyjv, v(f)e\Kv- 
(Ta<; ^ TOL<; v€(ppiTiKOL<; ')(^(opLOC<; irpocrKoWdadat ^ 
i^idtov 6\r)v he rijv tt}? (TapKO<; 7rifie\7]v eK/cevco- 
aa<i, TOL'9 Tojv viroyacTTpLcov o^j^erou? yevvai(o<; 
€^7]pava<;, yaarepa re avrrjv Ta2<; daiTLai<; av/ju- 
TTTufa?, TCI irXevpiTLKa p-epi], wairep tivcl (TTeyT]<; 
e^o')(^j]v, TOL<; TOV 6/jL(f)a\ov /jLeXeaiv^ eVeo-^tafe?, 
Kal avveaToXfjievo) 6\(p tw 6pydv(p, Arara Td<i 
vvKTepLvdf; copa<i dv6 o fxdXoyov fievo^ tw ©ew, toI^ 
Tcoz^ haKpvcov o;^6TOt9 ttjv yeveidha €fi/3po')(ov 
KaOco/jidXi^e^. Kal tl fxe hel KaTaXeyeiv eKaaTa ; 
/jLV7]crdr]Ti ocra dyiwv aTOfiaTa (j)iX?]fjLaTt KaT- 
TjcnrdaWi '6aa\ lepd acofiaTa irepieiTTV^w, oaoc aov 
Td<; ')(elpa<; &>? dxpdvT0v<; TrepieOaXTrov, oaoi 
hovXoc ©eouj (ocrrrep XdTp€i<;, vTrehpufiov rot? 
yovaai aov TrepiTrXeKOfievoi. 

Kal TOVTCov TO TeXo^ TL ; fjLoi^^iKrj^ (f)7]/jLr]<; Sta- 
fioX7], /SeXou9 o^VTepov hiL7rTa/j.ev7'}, TLTpwaKet 
r}/jLO)v ra? dKod<;, aKpLaLOTepo) KevTpw tcl airXdy^va 
i^jjLMv hiai'VTTOvaa. rt? y tov y6r]T0<; '^ ToaavTTj 
6VTex^o<; TOLKiXia eh ToaovTov^ ae Trepir^yayev 
oXeOpLov a KeXia ixa ; irola iroXvirXoKa tov hia- 
fioXcv hl/CTva 7repia(j)iy^avTd ae, ra? Trj<; dpeTrj<; 
evepyeia^ dKivrjT0V<i dTrrjXey^e ; ^ nrov jjlol tcl 

1 e^€K\ives A, B, F. 2 Tpa^fia A, B. 

2 0-61; om. A, B, C, I). * €<peAKv(ras E. 

278 



LETTER XLV 

tude. Irritating your body with rough sackclotli, 
and binding tightly about your loins a hard girdle, 
with steadfast endurance you afflicted your bones. 
You made your sides hollow by your deprivations, so 
that they hung flabby even round to the back ; and 
you declined the use of a soft waist-band/ but draw- 
ing your flanks in tightly, like a gourd, you forced 
them tight against the region of the kidneys. You 
rid your flesh of all its fat, nobly drained the channels 
of your abdomen dry, and by compressing your 
stomach itself with fastings, you caused your out- 
standing ribs, like the eaves of a house, to cast a 
shadow about the region of your navel. Thus, with 
your whole body contracted, you spent the hours of 
night making your confessions to God, and with the 
streams of your tears smoothed out the curls of your 
drenched beard. ^Vhy need I go into details? 
Remember all the saints whose lips you greeted 
with a kiss, all the holy persons that you embraced, 
all the people who fervently clasped your hands as 
undefiled, all the servants of God who, like hirelings, 
ran up and clung to your knees. 

And what is the end of all this ? An evil rumour 
of adultery, flying swifter than an arrow, wounds 
our ears, aye, with a sharper sting pierces our vitals. 
What sorcerer's art was so subtle as to drive you 
into so deadly a snare } What tortuous meshes of 
the devil got their coils about you, and exposed the 
true character of that unswerving practice of virtue 
of yours .^ What, pray, has become of my stories of 

^ (pa<TKia, Lsitin fascia, a band swathed about breast or waist. 

^ KoWaaOai A, F, irpos in ras. ^ /uLcpeaiv A, C, F. 

' Tov y6r)Tos om. E. ® tovto C, D. ^ a-n-qXcy^av C, D. 

279 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Strjy7]fiaTa tmv aojv ttovcov ; olx'^TCii, apa yap 
dino-T^a-at d^tov ; Koi ttcj^; ov)(l i/c rwv ivapyoiv 
Kol ra T€co<; cKpavrj et? TTuarLV Be^ofieOa ; el ra? 
TO) ©6ft) 7rpoa(j>vyovcra<; ^ yfrv'^d<; ^pLKTol^ opKOL<; 
KareKkeLcya^' ottotb 7rapaT6Tr)p7]/jbev(o<; ^ rov vol 
KoX TQv ov TO irepLTTOv ^ Tw BiaffoXw irpoa- 
vevi/jLijraL.^ 

'Ofxov Toivvv KoX TrapopKLU^ okeOpLov yeyova^ 
€yyvo<;, koI (f)av\iaa<; r?}? aaKi^crew^ rbv y^apaK- 
TTjpa p^expi' '^^^ aTroaroXcov koX avrou rov 
}Lvpiov dv67r€/iyjra<; to al(7^o<;. KaTr)a')(vva<^ to 
TYjf; dyvela<; KavxVH'^f ifi(o/jL7]cr(o tt}? aco(f)poavv7j<; 
TO eirdyyeKfia' eyevofxeOa aixfJ^aXooTcov Tpaywhia, 
'Iov8aioi<; Kol "KkXi^ai BpafxaTOvpyelTat to, 
r)/jL6T€pa. BL€Te/i€<; (ppovrjfia fxovay^MV tov<; 
dKpL^e<TTepov<^ eh (f>6ffov /cal heikiav yyaye^;, 
Oavfid^ovTa^ €ti tov Bia/SoXov r^z^ Bvpafiiv, tou? 
dBia^opov^ eh d/co\a(7La<; i^rfkov /JL€Te67]Ka<;, 
eXvaa<;, oaov eirl aoi, to tov ^piaTov Kav)(7]/jLa, 
C')appeLTe, XeyovTO^;, iyco veviKtjKa tov Koafxov 
Kal TOV TovTov ^ dp^ovTU, ifcepaaa^ tj} TraTplSc 
KpaTTJpa Sv(7(l)t]/jLla<;. oVro)? eh epyov rjyaye^; to 



3 irepiaahv 5e C, D, E, 

* TTpoav^fJittiV C, D, F ; -Kpoaveix^iv A. 

^ TOVTOn] TOV k6(T^0V F. 

2S0 



LETTER XLV 

your labours? They are gone. For must we not 
disbelieve them ? And how can we help giving 
credence, on the strength of things now manifest, 
to things which have hitherto been unseen — nay, 
though you have bound by frightful oaths souls 
which have sought refuge with God, inasmuch as 
whatever is above yea and nay is scrupulously 
attributed to the devil ? ^ 

You have therefore at once become liable for a 
deadly perjury, and by casting disparagement upon 
the character of asceticism you have carried your 
disgrace back even to the Apostles and the Lord 
Himself. You have put our boast of purity to 
shame, you have mocked the vow of chastity ; we 
have become a tragedy of captives, and our lives are 
placed on the stage for Jews and Greeks. ^ You 
have cut the pride of all monks asunder ; those of 
strictest discipline you have driven into fear and 
cowardice, since they marvel still at the devil's 
power, while the indifferent you have converted to 
rivalry in incontinence. In so far as in you lay, you 
have nullified Christ's boast, when He says, " Have 
confidence, I have overcome the w^orld " ^-r-that is, 
the ruler of this world. You have mixed a cup of 
infamy for your country. You have truly fulfilled the 



^ Cf. Matt. 5, 37. eo-Tw Se 6 k6yos vfiMV, vol vai, ov oij- rh 
6e ircpianhv rovTuiv iK tov irovrjpov ia-riv. *'But let your 
speech be yea, yea : no, no : and that which is over and 
above these is of evil." 

' i.e. we monks have become a show, in which we play 
the role of captives, our wretchedness held up for the amuse- 
ment and ridicule of Jews and Pagans. Basil uses the term 
"Greeks" for the adherents of the old pagan religion. 

3 John 16, .33. 

281 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Trj<;^ Ylapoiiiia^' 'fi? eXacf)o<; To^ev6el<^ et? ^ to 
rjirap. 

^ AWa TL vvv ; ov Treirrcofcev 6 t^? la)(vo<; 
7rupyo<;, dBeXipe, ovfc ificofiijOi] ra t?}? i7riaTpo(j)rj<; 
(pdpfiaKa' ovK direKKelaOi] rod KaracfeevKrrjpLov 
T) 7r6\i<;. fiT] TM ^dOeL t6)v icaKOiv ivaiT0[i6ivr]^' 
/xr/ XP^l^V^ aeavTov tw di'dpoyTroKTOvo). olhev 
dvopOovv KaT€ppay/ii€vov<; 6 Ku/Dio?. (j)€vye^ /ir) 
fiaKpdv, dWd irpb^ r)p.d<i dvdSpa/xe. dvdXa/Se 
irdXiv veavLKov<; irovov^, hevTepoL<^ Karopdoofiaat 
hiaXvwv Tr)v ')(^ap.al^7]Xov Kal yXoicahr] ^ r]hovi]v. 
dvdvevaov eh rrjv rod TeXou? rj/iipav, ovrco 
TTpoaeyyiaaaav jfj ^cofj rjfiwv' Kal yvoiOi 7rw9 
XoLTTov 'lovSalcov Kal 'KXX7]va)v Trat^e? avveXavv- 
ovrat 7rpo<; deoae/Seiav Kal firj aTra^airXS)^ 
aTrapvrjcrrj ^ rov rod Kocrfiov ^corijpa, fir) ae 77 
(f>pLK0)Beo-TdT7] iKelvt] KaraXd/St) d7r6(j)acri^, on 
OvK ol8a vfxd<;, rlve^ iare. 



XLVI 

11/309 TrapOevov eKireaovaav 

NOz^ Kaipo<; eK^orjcraL to 7Tpo(f)7]TiKov eKelvo, 
Kal elirelv Ti? hdxrei ttj KecpaXfj fiov vBcop, Kal 

1 T^ TTJS] raS A, E, F. 2 gj'y Q^ Q^ J) 

3 01^76 E, F. 

* yXvadrj A, E, F (in niarg. yeXoiwBr]) ; yeXoiddr) C. 

^ apvrja-r] E. 

^ Cf. Prov. 7, 22-23. 6 5e intiKOXove-na-ey avrfi Kcncpwefis, 
wCTrep 5e fiovs iirl crcpayrjv 6.yeTai, Kal u-cnrep kvwv eVl Z^(Tfxovs, rj 

282 



LETTER XLVI 

words of the Proverb : " Like a stag- pierced to the 
liver." ^ 

But what now ? The tower of our strength has 
not fallen, brother ; the remedies of amendment 
have not been mocked ; tlie city of refuge has not 
been closed. Do not abide in the depths of 
iniquity ; do not give yourself over to the slayer of 
men. The Lord knows how to raise up those who 
have been dashed down. Flee to no distant place, 
but hasten back to us. Take up the labours of 
youth again, and by succeeding in a second trial end 
that indulgence, which wallows in sticky mire. 
Look up toward the last day, that has approached so 
near our lives ; realise how the children of Jews and 
Greeks are now driven to the worship of God ; and 
do not, once for all, deny the Saviour of the world, 
lest that most terrible sentence be passed upon you : 
'' I know you not, who you are." ^ 



LETTER XLVI 

To A Fallen Virgin ^ 

Now is the time to quote the words of the 
prophet, and say : " Who will give water to my 

uis i\a(pos ro^ivixari ireirX-qyus fls rb fiirap. The Douay Version, 
which is clearly based on a diiferent version of the Greek, 
reads : " Immediately he foUoweth her as an ox led to be a 
victim, and as a lamb playing the wanton, and not knowing 
that he is drawn and like a fool to bonds, till the arrow 
pierce his liver," 

2 Luke 13, 27. 

3 Cf. Letter XL V, note 1. 



283 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

roi<; 6(j)0a\/jLOL'^ fiov Tnjyrjv BaKpvcov, Ka\ Kkav- 
ao/iai TOv<i T€Tpav/iaTLa/ievov^^ Ovyarph^ \aov 
fjLov ; el yap koI tovtov? ^aOeca Trepcixet crcyr}, 
KoX KelvTat anra^ KeKapcofiivov tw Seivo) koI tw 
Kaipiw tt}? TrXr/yfj^i CK^rjprjixhoi kcu avrrjV rjhr] 
Tov TrdOov^ TTjv acaOyjaiv, aXV ov^ r}fid<; ye 
irapievau ahaKpvjl Toaovrov ^ irrcofjia XP^' ^^' 
yap ^lepe/jLta^; tol"? iv TroXe/jia) ra acofxara ^ 
7r€7r\7jy6Ta<; pivpiwv Oprjvwv a^iov^ e/cpLve, tl av 
Ti9 eliTOi iTpo<s rrjXtKavrrjv -v^rf^o)!/^ avficpopdv ; 
01 Tpavfiariai aov, cf^ijcTiv, ov rpavfiariaL pofM- 
(f)aia<;, Kal oi veKpoi aov ov vefcpol iroXefiov, 
dWd TO Kevrpov tov 6vto)<; davdrov, rrjv ;)^aX67r^i^ 
dfiapTiav oSvpofiaL, /cal ra Treirvpco/xeva tov 
TTOvr/pov ^eXrj, i/ru^a? ofMOV fieTO, aco/JudTcov pap- 
^apLKa)<; KaTacjiXe^avTa. 

'H fieydXa dv^ aTevd^eiav ol tov Seov v6/ioi, 
TifXiKOVTov dyo<; iirl 77}? eVi/SXeTTOi^re?,^ Oif ye '^ 
dirayopevovTe'; del Kal ySowz^re?, irdXat fxev Ovk 
eTTLdvfirjaeL^ ttjv yvvalrca tov TrXrjaiov aov, Sid 
8e Twv dyicov evayyeXiwv otl' ITa? i/jiffXeTrcov ^ 
yvvaiKi ^ 7rpo<; to eTnuvfiijaat avTi]^,^^ rjor] e/xot%- 
evaev avTvjV ev tyj /capSia avTOV. vvv he e(j)- 
opwaiv avTTjV dheM<; /j,oiX^^o/jLevr]v tov AeairoTov 
TTfv vv/JLCpTjv, ^9 r} H:e(f)aX')) 6 X/Jicrro?.^-^ aTevd^ece ^^ 
S' dv Kal avTa tmv dyiwv Ta irvevpiaTa'^^ ^Lvee^ 

^ Tovs TeTpav/xaTLa/JLevovs] rh avVTpifxixa E. 
2 TOffovTov] rT\\iKoiirov E ; toiovtov C, D. 
^ rh cujxa E. ^ ^vxvs B, D. 

6 &v]7' hv E. ^ &\4irovT€s A, C, D, E. 

' o'[ 7e] ot Kal E. ^ i/xP\4\l/as E ; P\eira>v A. 

» yvva^Ka A, C, D. i° avr^v A, C, D, E. 

*i ^y . . . 6 Xpiaros om. C, D, E. 
284 



LETTER XLVI 

head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes, and 1 >vill 
weep for the slain of the daughter of my people ? " ^ 
Although, he means, these are enwrapped in deej) 
silence, and lie stunned once for all by the dreadful 
event, and are now bereft by the fatal blow even of 
all perception of their fate, yet we at all events 
must not pass over such a fall without a tear. For 
if Jeremias considered those worthy of countless 
lamentations who received bodily wounds in battle, 
what can one sa}^ when face to face with a disaster 
like this to a soul? It is said : "Thy wounded are 
not wounded by the sword, thy dead are not dead in 
battle." 2 Nay, it is the sting of Mhat is truly death 
— the grievous sin — which I mourn, the flaming 
darts of the Evil One, which have ruthlessly con- 
sumed souls and bodies alike. 

Surely the laws of God would loudly groan, if 
they could see such pollution on earth, those laws ^ 
which have ever proclaimed the prohibition, in olden 
times : '^Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife," 
and through the holy gospels : * " Whosoever shall 
look on a woman to lust after her, hath already com- 
mitted adultery with her in his heart." Now these 
laws behold the Lord's bride, whose head is Christ, 
freely giving herself in adultery. Aye, the very 
souls of the saints would groan : Phinehas the zealous, 

1 Jer. 9. 1. Basil, however, omits the words "day and 
night "' after "weep." 

2 Cf. Isa. 22. 2. eVe7rA7)0-07j r] ttJAiS fioxvrwv, ol Tpavfiariai 
aov ov rpavfiarlai iu /iaxatpa'S, ovde ol veKpoi ffov V€Kpol iroXe/j.'^. 
"Full of clamour, a populous city, a joyous city: thy slain 
are not slain b}' the sword, nor dead in battle." 

3 Deut. 5. 21. * Matt. 5. 28. 

" (TTiyd^eiav C, D, E. ^^ TrvevfxaTo] Tdyfiara C, D, 

285 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fxev 6 ^rfkwrr)<;, on fir] /cal vvv e^eariv avrw top 
aeLpOjJLaaTrjv jxera ')(^elpa<; Xa/36pTL, awfxariKO)^ 
iKhiKYjcaL TO fivao<;'^ 6 Be /SaTTTfo-rr;? 'l(odvvy]<;, 
on fjLt] Svvarat, KaToXiiroiv ra? avw Biarpi^d^, 
KaOdirep Tore rrjv eprjfiov, iirl tov e\ey)(^ov t?}? 
7rapai'0fiLa<^ Spa/ielv, koI el iraOelv n Beoc rrjv 
/ce(f>a\r)v diToOeaOai jidWov t) tjjv Trapprjaiav 
Tci-^a he p.dWov?' elirep koli r)iMV, Kara tov 
jiaKapiov "A/SeX, Kal avTo<; aTTodavoiv eVt XaXei, 
Kal vvv /3oa Kal KeKpaye /xel^ov 6 ^l(odvv7]<; ^ rj 
irepX TTj^i 'H/3&)8taSo9 TOTe' Ovtc e^eaTi col e^ecv 
avTTjV. Kal ""/dp, el to ^ ao)p.a 'Icodvvov, KaTa 
TO dvajKalov rfj (pvcrei, tov Oelov opov eSe^aro 
Kal ^ Tj yXojaaa ^ (Tcya, dXX' 'O X0709 tov &eov 
ov BeBeTac. 6 ydp, eVetS^ crvvBovXov ydfJL0<; r)6e- 
TecTO, P'^xpi' OavdTov ttjv irapprjalav irpoayaydiVt 
TL av irdOoL TrjXiKavTrjv icpopcov v/Spcv irepl tov 
dyiov tov ILvpLOV vv/icpMva ; 

'AXXa av Trj<; Oeia^ €Kelvr)<; avva^eia^ '^ tov 
^vyov dTroppi-^aaa,^ Kal tov p,ev d)(pavT0V tov 
dXrjOivov ySac7iXea)9 diroBpaaa vvpcficova, Trpo? Be 
TTJV aTL/iov TavTTjv Kal dae/Sf] (f)Oopdv ala)(p6j<i 
TTeaovaa, eirel ^ ovk e;\;e£? ttw? ttjv iriKpav Tav- 
T^iv KaTT]yopiav eK<pvyr]<;,^^ ovoe ti? eaTU^^ gol 
Tp67ro<; ovBe ^^ P^VX^^h '^^ Bewov tovto avy- 



2 rdxa Se fiaWop] jxaXKov 5e A, B, C, D. 
2 6 'la-aj/i/Tjs om. A, B, C, D. 
^ KOL "yap, 6t to] rh /xkv yap C, D. 
5 /calj /c&j/ C, D. 6 5^ add. C, D. 

' avvacpdas] Koiv'jovlas A, B, C, D. 
^ oLTToppri^aaa C, D. ® iv€i8r} E. 

^° aTro<pvyr]s E. 

286 



LETTER XLVI 

that lie cannot in this case also take his spear in 
liand, and with bodily punishment avenge the out- 
rage ; and John the Baptist, that he cannot leave 
his heavenly abode, as once he left the wilderness, 
and hasten to rebuke the transgression, and, if he 
needs must sufler, to lose his head rather than his 
freedom of speech ; or rather, perhaps, if John, like 
the blessed Abel,^ still continues to speak to us even 
in death, he may even now be crying out and shout- 
ing with louder voice than he once did concerning 
Herodias : '^ It is not lawful for thee to have her ; " "^ 
and if John's body, according to the law of nature, 
has accepted the divine limitation, and his tongue is 
silent, yet "the word of God is not bound." ^ If, 
when the marriage of a fellow-servant was set at 
naught, John pushed his frankness of speech even 
to the point of causing his own death, how would he 
feel could he see such an outrage as this, which 
affects the holy marriage-chamber of the Lord? 

But you have thrown aside the yoke of that 
divine union ; you have fled from the unsullied 
chamber of the true king, and have fallen shame- 
fully into this dishonourable and impious seduction ; 
and now that you can in no way escape this bitter 
accusation, and have no way or means to conceal 

^ Cf. Heb. 11. 4. TTiVrei irX^ioua Qvaiav "'A^SeA Trapa KaiiV 
irpoa-ffvcyKe Tcfi 0€g[) 5t" f;s iiJ.apTvpr]6r] ^Ivai St/cojos, fiaprvpoiivTos 
67ri rots SwpoLS avTov tov ©eoC* Kal 5i' avTrjs anodaj/icu en 
AoAerrat. *' By faith Abel otfered to God a sacrifice exceeding 
that of Cain, by which he obtained a testinion}' that he was 
just, God giving testimony to his gifts, and by it he being 
dead yet speaketh. '' 

2 Matt. 14. 4. 3 2 Tim. 2. 0. 

^^ eo-Ti cm. E. ^^ rpoiros ovSk om. K. 

287 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

KaXv^frac, o/iocre rfj ToXfxy ^o)pe2<;. kol eTreihi'-jirep 
d(T€/37]<;, ifxirecroov eh ^d6o<^ kukojv, Xolttov Kara- 
(f)pov6i, avTa<i cnrapvfj Ta<^ 7rpo<; rov aki^Oivov 
vvfjL(f)Lov avv67]Ka<;, oine elvat, irapOevo^, ovre 
viT0G-)(ea6ai irore ffoMcra, r} TroWd fiev iBe^eo, 
TToWd Se eVeSetfct) irapOevia^ avvd/jfiara. 

^IvrjdOrjTL tt}? Ka\ri<^ 6/jLo\oy[a<;, fjv &)/ioXo7>;- 
tra? ivMiTiov 0eoi) kol dyyiXcov koi dvOpcoTTcov. 
IJLVi]a6r]TL T?}? aepLvr}<; crvvoSia^, kol lepov irap- 
Oevcov x^pov, Kal avvaywyrj^ K.vpLov, koi 'E/c- 
K\rj(Tia<; ocrlcov Kal yijpaXia^; iv ^piarw jJLd/jL/jLr]<i 
vea^ovarj'i ert^ Kal dK/jLa^ovcrr]<; rrjv dpeTr)v, Kal 
fX7]Tpo<; iv }Lvpi(p 7rpG<; eKeuvijv dfiLWwfievr]^, 
Kal ^evoL<; ricrl Kal dijOeai 7t6vol<; KaraXveiv 
(f>iXoveLKovar]<; rd tt}? avvri6eia<^'^ Kal dS€X(prj<s 
6/jLOL(o<; rd fxev eKeiva^ ^ /jLL/iovfjLevy]<;, rd Be Kal 
vTrep/SaLveLV (f)iXoTifjLOv/JLev7]<^, Kal tol<; irapOeviKol'^ 
irXeoveKTrjfiaa Lv v7repaKOVTi,^ovcrr)<; rd TrpoyoviKd 
KaropOco/jLaja, Kai ae rrjv dBeX(f)7]v, co? wero, 
77/309 rrjv TOiv lacov dfJuXXav Kal Xoyco Kal /Slco 
(pt-XoTTovco^^ €KKaXoviJiev7]<i. fjivyjadrjTL tovtcov, 
Kal dyyeXiKT]^ irepl top Seov fxer eKetvcov ^(^opela^, 
Kal irvevfiarLKi)'^ iv aapKi ^(or}<;, Kal ovpavlov iirl 
y)]<; 7roXtT6u/xaT09* fu,vr]a6'i]Ti rjfiepcov dOopv^cov, 
Kal vvKTMv 7re(f)coTi(T/jLevcov, Kal ^Bcov ^ irvev/jLar- 
iKcov, Kal yjraX/ia)Bia<i ev7])(ou, Kal Trpoaeux^^ 
dyicov, Kal dyvrj<; Kal dfjudvTOv^ KOLTrj<;, Kal nrap- 
deviK7](; TTpooBov, Kal iyKpaTov<i Tpaire^r]^, Kal 

1 ^Tt] &PTI ^n T({Tf A, B, G, D. 

2 rh KpoLTos add. A, B, C, D. 

^ iKfiv-qs A, B, C, D. * (piXorifxois E. 

5 (^?iiiv A, C, D, E ; bZwv B et editi. 

288 



LETTER XLVI 

this horror, you rush headlong into insolence. And 
inasmuch as a sinner, on falling into the depth of 
iniquity, becomes thenceforth contemptuous, you 
even deny your covenant with the true spouse, and 
cry aloud that you neither are nor ever promised to 
be a virgin, although you have accepted many pledges 
of virginity and have offered many. 

Recall that " good confession '' which you confessed 
in the sight of God and angels and men.^ Remember 
the solemn assembly, the sacred chorus of virgins, the 
congregation of the Lord, and the Church of saints. 
Think of your grandmother, old in Christ, but still 
young and strong in virtue ; of your mother vying with 
her in the Lord, and struggling by strange and un- 
wonted toils to break with her accustomed life ; and of 
your sister, who likewise imitates them both, and yet 
strives earnestly to surpass them, and indeed by the 
advantage of her virginity surpasses the successes of 
her forbears ; she by both word and life earnestly 
summons you, her sister (as she used to think), to a 
rivalry of like effort. Remember these ; remember 
the chorus of angels, with the saints, about God ; 
remember the spiritual life in the flesh, and the 
heavenly life on earth ; remember the days of calm, 
the nights of enlightenment, the spiritual songs, the 
tuneful psalms, the holy prayers, the pure and un- 
tarnished bed, the procession of virgins, the temperate 

^ Cf. 1 Tim. 6 1*2. ayccvi^ov rhy KaXuv a-yuva tj)s TricTTca'S- 
imXa^ov ttjs alu'viov ^(vrjs, fls tjj/ koI ii{\r)d7]s, Kal wfxo\6yq(ras 
TTjV KaXr]V oijLoXoyiav ii/wiriov troWwp fxapTvpuiv. "Fight the 
good fight of faith : lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou 
art called, and liast confessed a good confession before many 
witnesses." 



Kal aixiavrov om. A, V>, 0, D. 



;89 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

KaXa)<; evxo/J^evr]'; T7]v irapOeviav ctol d(j)Oopov 
Ti]pi)6rivai?- 

Yiov Be aoL to ae/ivov €K€lvo ax^P'Ci) ttou Be 
TO Koa/jLiov r)6o<;, koX io'Oi]<; Xltt) irapOevw irpeir- 
ovaa, Kol Kokov fiev to i^ at'SoO? ipvdrjpLa, 
€V7rp67Tr)<; Be i) ef eyfcpaT€ia<; koL aypvirvia^i 
eiravOovaa U))(p6Tj]'^, /cal irdar]^ evxpoid^ ^(^apLea- 
Tepov eTTiXapiiTovaa ; TroaaKL^; iv iTpoa€V')(al<; 
virep Tov TTjprjaai ti-jv izapOeviav dorinXov Laco<; 
i^e^ea^ BaKpva ; rroaa Be ^ ypdp.p.aTa 7r/)09 tov<; 
dyL0v<; ^ iy^dpa^a<;, Bi o)V rj^LOv; v'7Tepev')(ea6ai 
(TOV, ovy Xva yd/jiov dvOpcoirivov, pdWov Be Trj<^ 
aTLpov TavT7]<^^ (f)dopd^, eTTiTuxD'i, dW' Iva tov 
K.vplov 'lyaov pj] iK7rear]<; ; 7roadKL<;^ Be Bcopa 
tov vvpLcpLov iBe^o) ; tl Bel kuI Xeyeiv ra? Bl 
eKelvov irapd twv eKeivov TLpd<; ; ra? pcTa irap- 
devwv avp,fiLMaeL<; ; tcl^ avv eKeivai^ TTpooBov^ ; 
TCL'^ irapd TTapOevwv B€^icocreL<; ; tcl eVl TrapOevia 
eyfC(jL>piLa ; ra? irapdeviKd<^ ev\oyia<^ ; tcl &>? irpo^ 
irapOevov ypdp,piaTa ; dWd vvv okiyrjv avpav 
Be^ap.evr) tov depiov^ TTi^eu/xaro?, tov vvv evepy- 
ovvTo<; iv TOf? vloU Trj<; direiOeia^i, irdvTcov 
e/celvcov e^apvo<i yeyova^, kol to Tipiov eKelvo 
Kul 7r€pLpd)(^r)T0v KTTjpa Ppax^icL'^ r)Bovri<; dvTi- 
/caTTjWd^co, fj 77/009 Kaipov puev ^ XLTraivei 

^ Kol KuAws . . . rr]priQrjvai om. A, B, C, D. 

- TToVo 5e] TToaoLKis E. 2 iroWaKis add. A, B, C, D. 

^ ravrrjs om. B. ^ ttoVo A, B, C, D. 

® a€piov] aepos tov C, D. ' jjl€P om. A, B, C, D. 

^ The benedictions pronounced by the priests upon 
nuns. 

290 



LETTER XL\T 

board, and yourself offering the good prayer that 
your virginity be kept uncorrupted. 

What has become of that di<i^nified bearing: of 
yours, that decorous character, that simple dress 
befitting a virgin, that beautiful blush of modesty, 
and that comely pallor, which blooms through tem- 
perance and vigils and has a radiance more charming 
than any ruddiness of complexion ? How often, 
when you })rayed that you might preserve your 
virginity s})otless, did you perhaps shed tears ? How 
often did you write to the holy men, asking that 
prayers be offered by them on your behalf, not that you 
might obtain marriage among men — or rather, that 
dishonourable corruption — but that you might never 
fall away from the Lord Jesus? How often have 
you received gifts from your bridegroom? Why 
need I even speak of the honours which you received 
through Him from His ministers? Or of the life 
you lived among the virgins ? Of the processions 
you made with them ? Of the greetings you received 
from the virgins? Of the words of commendation 
for your virginity ? Of the virginal blessings ? ^ Of 
the letters written to you as a virgin ? But now, 
when a slight breeze of the spirit of the air has 
reached you, the spirit which " now worketh on the 
children of unbelief," ^ you have renounced all 
these things, and have exchanged that honoured 
and highly prized possession for a brief moment of 
pleasure, a pleasure which tickles your palate ^ for 

- Cf. Eph. 2. "2. KaTo. Tov 6.pxovTa ttjs i^ovalas tov aepos, 
Tov TtvevfiaTos tov vvv ivepyovpros iu toIs 0107$ t?^s aTreidcias. 
"According to the prince of the power of the air, of the 
spirit that now worketh on the children of unbelief." 

2 Literally, " oils your throat." 

291 
u 2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aov (f)dpuyya, vaTepov Se ^ irtKporepov %oX^9 
6vpr)aeL<^. 

'EttI TouTOf? Tt9 ovK av 7r€v67]aa<; eciror Ho)? 
iyevero iropvr] TroXt? ttlg-tii ^lcov ; ttw? Be ovfc 
av avTO<; 6 Ku/)iO? d7ro(f)0ey^aLTO 7rp6<; riva twv 
vvv ev TTvev/jLari 'lepefjuov TrepLiraTOvvTcov ElSe? 
a iiToLrjae puoL rj 7rapdevo<; tov 'Icr/)a?;X ; iyco 
ejJivii(TTevadp.rjv avrrjv ipLavra) iv iriareL Kal 
d(f)dap(TLa, ev Sc/caioavvrj, Kal ev KpipLarc, Kal 
ev eXeei, Kal oIktip/jlo2<;, Ka6o}<^ Kal Std 'flcrTje 
TOV 7Tpo(^i]TOv avrfj eTrrjyyetXdpLTjv. avrr) Se 
r]yairt]Kei dXkoTpiov<;, Kal ^c!)VTO<; ifiov tov ^ 
dvSpo^;, /iot,)(^a\l(; ^pTjfiari^ei, Kal ov (bo^elrai 
yevo/jLev7] dvSpl ereptp. ri he dpa 6 vvficfiaycoyo^, 
6 6elo<^ KCLi pbaKdpio'^ IlaOXo?, o re dp^aLO<; 
eVetJ^o?, Kal 6 veo<^ ovro^ uc/)' co fjLeairr) Kal Bl- 
BaaKdXcp tov iraTpwov ^ oIkov KaTaXirrovaa tw 
J^vpLO) avv7](j)6')]^ ; dpa ovk av eiiroi tCo ToaovTW 
KaK(p 7r€pL7ra6}](7a<; eKdTepo^ ; ^o/So^ yap ov 
e(j)O0ov/ji->]v rjXOe jjlol, Kal ov iBeBoLKeiv avvijvTijae 

1 Se] fieuToi A, B, C, D. 2 ^Qavdrou add. A, B, C, D. 

3 IX-QTpCfOV A, B, C, D. 

^ Cf. Isa, 1. 21. TToJs iyevero izopvr] irokis iriarT) 5eiwv, 
irX'OprjS Kpicrecos ; eV 77 SiKaioavur] iKOifx^dr) iv aurfj, vvv Se 
(povcvTai. "How is the faithful city, 8ion, that was full of 
judgment, become a harlot? justice dwelt in it, but now 
murderers." 

2 Tliese quoted words are a fusion and adaptation of 
three different sources: Jer. 18. 13. Sia tovto rdSe Aeyei 
Kvpioi' 'Epwrrjaare Srj iv eOveaiv, Tts fJKOvaev roiavra (ppiKTo. & 
iTroirjaev acpo^pa trapOevos ^I(rpar]\ ; "Therefore thus saitli the 
Lord : Ask among the nations : Who hath heard such horrible 
things as the virgin of Israel hath done to excess ? " Hosea 2. 
19. Kol fjLvr)(rT€v(TOfiai ce ifiavT(f els rhv alwva, /cot iivi\(TTivaoixal 

292 



LETTER XLVl 

the moment, but wliich you will soon find more 
bitter than gall. 

W'iio would not grieve at this, and say, '^ How is 
the faithful city, Sion, become a harlot?"^ How 
can the Lord- Himself help saying to those who 
are now walking in the spirit of Jeremias : '^ Hast 
thou seen what the virgin of Israel has done to Me ? 
I espoused her to Me in trust, in purity, in justice, in 
judgment, in mercy, and in commiseration, just as I 
promised to her through Osee the pro})het. But 
she has loved strangers ; and though 1, her husband, 
still live, she is called an adulteress, and fears not 
to become the wife of another." What then of him 
wlio gave the bride to her husband, the holy and 
blessed Paul — I mean both the Paul of old and this 
Paul of to-day, under whose mediation and instruction 
you left your father's home and were married to the 
Lord ? ^ Would not each one, moved to exceeding 
sorrow by this great misfortune, say : " For the fear 
which I feared hath come upon me ; and that which 
I was afraid of hath befallen me ; ^ for I have 

o'e (:jx%vr<f iv SLKaioavur] Kal eV Kpifj-ari Kal iv i\eei ical iv 
oiKTipixois. "And I will espouse thee to me for ever : and I 
will espouse thee to nie in justice, and in judgment, and in 
mercy, and in commiserations."' Rom. 7. 3. apa ovu Cuvtos 
Tov aidpos ;ao(xaA.is XRVM-^'^'-f^^'^ ^^*' y^v-qrai av^pl erepw' iav be 
a.iroda.17] 6 avTjp, iXevOepa i(TT\u awo tov vouov, tov fxi] ei^ai avTr]v 
fioixa^i^a- yeuo/xei-'riu avSpl eTepw. "Therefore, whilst her 
husband liveth, she shall be called an adulteress, if she be 
with another man : but if her husband be dead, she is 
delivered from the law of her husband ; so that she is not an 
adulteress, if she be with another man."" 

' Basil refers to two persons named Paul: (1) a priest 
named Paul, who confirmed the nun when slie took her 
vows, and (-J) 8t Paul. 

* These are the words of Job 3. '2o, not of St. Paul. All 
the other passages quoted in the assumed rebuke of Paul tlie 
priest are from St. Paul's Epistles. 

293 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fjLOL. iyco [lev <ydp ae^ rjp/jioad/jLTjv evl dvSpl 
irapdevov dyvi]v Trapaarfjaat tm Xpcaro), koi 
i(j)o^ov/jL7]v del fiyj tto)?, co? o o(f)i<; e^rjirdji-jaev 
¥ivav ev Tfi TTavovpyia avrov, ovrco (l)Oapfj irore ^ 
Trt vorj/jLard crov. Bid rot, tovto iJLvpiaL<; /lev ^ 
eVw^at? iireLpdipLtiv del KaTacrjeWeiv tmu iraOwv 
Tov rdpaxoVy /xvpiai<; Se (pvXaKal'; avvTi-jpelv rov 
Kvplov TTjv vv/i(f)T)v, fcal TOV /Siov del * t^? dydfiov 
hie^^eiv, on Brj fiovT) i) dyapuO'^ p.epip.vci rd tov 
K.vpLov, 'iv f) dyia tw acopiaTi, Kal tw 7rvev/j.aTi. 
Koi TO d^iwfxa T/J9 iTap6evia<^ v<pyjyou/jLr)v, Kal 
vaov ae Qeou irpocrayopevcov, oiovel irTepov iSlSovv 
Tfi TrpoOvpia, irpo'^ 'Irjaovv dvaK0V(^L^wv, Kal tw 
(f)o/3(p TOV Setvov 7rpo<; to p,r] ireaelv e/3o7]6ovv, 
Xeycov,^ Et Tt<; tov vaov tov Qeov (f)6eipei, (f)Oepel 
TovTov 060?. Kal Sr) Kal Trjv €K tcov 7rpoo-ev)(^cbv ^ 
fiov ^ irpoaeTiOovv ^ dacfydXeiav, et ttcd? oXoKXrjpov 
GOV ^ TO ao)fia Kal rj yjrv)(^rj Kal to TTvevpua 
a/jLe/jLTTTco^ ev Trj irapovaLa tov K.vpiov yficjv ^^ 
^lr](Tov XpiaTOV TrjprjOeir). dWd yap elKr) TavTa 
irdvTa KeKoiriaKa eh ae, Kal pot, inKpov ^^ e|^e/9>7 

^ o-e ora. C, D. 2 TfQj."^ om. E, 

^ TOts Trvfv/j.aTiKa7s A, B, C, D. ^ del om. E. 

^ in A, B, C, D, legitur post (pdeipa. 
6 evxa>y A, B, C, D. ^ ixQv om. A, B, C, D. 

^ TTpoaeTidrjv E ; TrepieTidovv C, T). ^ aoi A, B, C, D. 

^° 7)/jLa>u om. A, B, C, D, E. ^^ iriKpoT^pov E. 

1 2 0or. 11.2. 

^ Cf. 2 Cor. 11. 3. (poBov/xai 5e /XT] TTojs, us 6 o(pis Evav 
e|r77^aT^7tr€^' iv ttJ iravoupyici avrnv, outu 'pdapfi to. uo-^fxaTa i/fxcHiv 
anh T1JS airXorriros ttjs ets rhv Xpiarov. "But I fear lest, as 
the serpent seduced Eve bj' his subtilty, so your minds should 
be corrupted, and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ." 

294 



LETTER XL\T 

espoused you to one husband, that I may present 
you as a chaste virgin to Clirist ; " ^ and, "^ I always 
feared lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his sub- 
tilty, so your mind should be corrupted '' ? - Where- 
fore 1 always tried to compose the tumult of your 
passions by countless spells, and with countless 
safeguards to protect the bride of the Lord ; to 
describe the life of the unmarried, sa^-ing : " The 
unmarried woman thinketh on the things of the 
Lord, that her life may be holy in body and spirit," ^ 
And 1 was wont to set forth the dignity of virginity, 
and, calling you "the temple of the Lord," * I would 
as it were give wings to your zeal, thus lifting you 
up to Jesus ; and by inspiring you with dread of the 
terrible thing, I tried to help you not to fall, saying : 
" If any man violate the temple of God, him shall 
God destroy." ^ Moreover, I added what assurance 
my prayers could offer, if in any way you might 
wholly, '' body and soul and spirit, be preserved 
blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." ^ 
And all this toil I have spent in vain upon you, and 

^ Cf. 1 Cor. 7. 34. r; ^.-yaixos fiepiixua ra toC Kvpiou, 'iva j; 
0710 Ka\ (Ta:ixaTi koX TruevfiaTi. "And the unmarried woman 
and the virgin (s^V.' Douay) thinketh on the things of the 
Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit." 

* 1 Cor. 3. 16. ovK otSare oti pahs Qeov iare, kol rh nyev/u.a 
Tov &eov oUe'i iu v/iuu ; "Know j^ou not, that you are the 
temple of (iod, and that the Spirit of God dvvelleth in you ?" 

5 1 Cor. 3. 17. 

* Cf. 1 Thess. o. 23. avrhs 5e Qehs rrjs elp-qvrjs ayidaai 
vfiiis oAoreAerj- Koi oKoKXrjpov uuwv rh trvevixa Kal r) ^vxh xai rh 
aw/xa OL/xifjLTrTws if tt) -rrapovaia tov Kvpiov r)^wv 'l-qaov Xpiarov 
TT] jr)d(ir). " And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you 
in all things ; that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, 
may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ." 

295 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Tojv yXvKecov iKelvcov ttovcov to wepa^' kol arevetv ^ 
avdyKT] irdXiv icp' f) ^ eSei fie 'X^aipeiv. ISov yap 
yirdryaaL fxlv viro rod 6(f)€co^, rrj^; Eua? inKpore- 
pov. ecpdaprai 8e aoL ov ra voi-jjJLaTa /jlovov, 
dWa yap avv i/c6ivoi<; Kal avro to acjfia' Koi 
TO (f)ptK(bS6<; eKelvo, o Kal elirelv okvm, Kal aiwTrav ^ 
ov Svvafiac (eaTi yap &)? irvp Kaio/xevov Kal 
(fikeyofievov'^ iv toU 6crTeot<; fzou, Kal irapeipbat 
irdvTodev, Kal ov Svva/xai (f)6p€Lv}, dpaaa to, 
jxiXi] Tov Xpt(jTo{) 7r€7roLrjKa<; pLeXr] iropvr]'^, 

ToOto fiovov iv iTCicn KaKov davyKpiTOV tovto 
Kaivov iv /5t6[) TO ToX/jLi^fia, 'Otl StiXOeTe, (prjal, 
VJ](T0v<; X.€TTL€i/JL, Kal iSeTC Kal 66? KrjSdp dlTO- 
(TTelXaTe, Kal vorjaaTs <7(j)6Spa, el ykyove TOiavTa, 
el dXXd^ovTat eOvy] 6eov<; avTcov, Kal avTol ovk 
elal 6eoi. i) he irapQevo'; 7]XXd^aT0 ttjv oo^av 
avTTj^, Kal rj Bo^a ^ iv Trj al(T')(^uvr) avTrj^;. i^eaT^j 
6 ovpavo<; iirl tovtw, Kal €(f)pL^ev rj yrj iirl irXelov 
acpoBpa. Xiyei Kal vvv 6 KvpLo<;, otl Bvo Kal 
TTOvrjpd iTToirjcrev i) 7rap0€vo<;' ifjue iyKaTeXiire tov 
dXrjdivov TOV dyiov^ ^jrv)((i)v dyicov vvficpiov, Kal 
direBpa 7rpo<; dcreffy] Kal Trapdvo/Jiov '^v)(^rj<; ofiov 
Kal aco/jLaTO<; (f)dopia. direaTr) diro Seov (Ta)Trjpo<; 
avTt]<;, Kal irapeaTrjae tcl fieXi] avTr)^ BovXa ttj 



1 Treuef7v E. ^ oTs C, D. ^ ^^ 

* Kol (pXeyofievov om. A, B, C, D. 
^ avTrjs, Kal t] 5o|o om. A, B, C, D. 
6 Twv ayiwv A, B, C, D. 

296 



LETTER XLVl 

bitter to me has been the end of those sweet labours ; 
and 1 must hmient in turn over her in whom I should 
have rejoiced. For lo I you have been seduced by 
the serpent, a more bitter seduction than Eve's. 
And not only ^^your mind" has been '^ corrupted/' ^ 
but with it your very body also ; and, most horrible of 
all — a crime which I hesitate to name, and yet can- 
not pass over in silence (for it is as a burning and 
flaming fire in my bones, and my strength is alto- 
gether gone, and 1 cannot bear up under it) — you 
" took the members of Christ, and made them the 
members of a harlot." ^ 

This alone of all evils cannot be equalled. This 
is a new piece of audacity in life. '' Pass over," it is 
said, " to the isles of Chittim, and see ; and send 
into Cedar, consider diligently if there hath been 
done anything like this, if a nation hath changed 
their gods, and indeed they are not gods." ^ '^But 
the virgin ' has changed her glory,' and her glory is 
in her shame. Heaven was amazed at this, and 
the earth shuddered more violently than ever before, 
now saith the Lord, because the virgin ' has done two 
evils ; ' she ' has forsaken Me,' the true and holy 
spouse of holy souls, and has taken refuge with an 
impious and lawless destroyer of soul and body alike. 
She has withdrawn from God her saviour, and has 
^yielded her members to serve uncleanness and 

1 Cf. 1 Cor. 11. 3, quoted above (p. 29-i). 

^ Cf. 1 Cor. 6. 15. ovK otdaTe oTi TO. cruaara vfxwv /ueArj 
KpiOTov ioTiv ; 6.pas oZv to /xeATj rov Xpiarov iroirjaw ir6pv7]S 
/te\T7 ; n^ yevoLTo. " Know you not that your bodies are the 
members of Christ ? Shall I then take the members of 
Christ, and make them the members of an harlot ? God 
forbid." 

3 Cf. Jer. 2. 10-11. 

297 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

a/caOapaia kol rfj avojJLia?- ifiov 5e eirekdOero, 
Koi OTTiao) Tov epaarov avTp]<; iiropevero, ef ov 
ovK 6(pe\e67]a€TaL.^ 

%W6(j)€p6V aVTCp el fjLvXo^ OVLKO'^ 7r€pC6K6CT0 

7T€pl TOV rpd)(i]\ov avrov, /cal epptTrro et? rrjv 
OdXacraav, r) on icTKavSdXicre ri-jv irapOevov 
Kvplov^ Ti9. SovXo<; avOdS7)<; et? roaouTOV ipbdvi], 
ft)? Beo-TTOTi/CTJ KOiTrj eavTOV i7rLppl-\\rai ; i) ^ itoIo<; 
Xr}aTr]<; iirl ^ rocrovTOV dirovoia<i TTporjy^Or], co? 
avTOdv e^d'^aaOau tmv tov Seov dvaOrjpbdrwv, 
ov aKevoyv d'^v^wv, dXXd acofidTCOv ^coptcov /cat 
yjrv^^rjv evoLKov eyovTWv Kar eiKova Seov ireTron)- 
/levrjv ; rt? dir alodvo'^ i^KOvarai^ ev piicrr) iroXei 
Koi aradepa /leajj/i/Spla sIkovl ^aaiXiK^ ^oupcov 
/jLop(f)d(; dfcaddpTcov i'TTLypd'\^aL ToXfxi](Ta^ ; ^ dOer- 
7](Ta<; Ti9 ydfiov dvOpdyirov, %&)/3l9 OLKTipfjLcov, 
eirl Svalv rj jptcrl pbdpTvaiv, diroOpijaKer Troarp, 
BoK€iT€, ')(€ipovo<; d^icodjjaeraL TLiiwpia^ 6 rov 



^ e| ov OVK 6(p€\€dT](reTai om. A, B, C, D, E. 

3 Kvplov om. E. 1 fi om. A, B, C, D. 

^ i-jTi] €ls E. ^ r,KQV(r^v E ; -qKovaQf] A, B, C, D. 

' ToKfJL-qrravTa E. 

^ A fusion and adaptation of the following : Jer. 2. 12-13. 
c'leoTTj ovpavos cTrt TovT(f Kol e(ppi^^v i-rrl itXeiov (T(p65pa, Xfyei 
Kvpios. on Zvo Koi TTovTjpoL inoirjaiv 6 Xaos fxov. i/j/e eyKariXi-nov, 
TT-qyrjV i/'Saros C^^i^i ^°-'- ^pv^av kavrols Xolkkovs (rvvrirpiixp.ivovs 
01 oh hvvT)aovTai vZwp avv^x^i-v. The Douay Version is based on 
a slightly different Greek text. "Be astonished, ye 
heavens, at this, and \-e gates thereof, be very desolate, saith 
the Lord. For My people Isave done two evils. They have 
forsaken Me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to 
themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." 
Rom. 6. 19. avQpwTrivQV A^yw dia ttjp aaOeveiau Trjs aapKhs 

298 



LETTER XLVI 

iniquity.' She ' forgot Mc, and went after her lover/ 
from whom she will receive no good." ^ 

" It were better for him that a millstone were 
hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea/' 
than that anyone should have "scandalized" the 
virgin of the Lord."^ Was ever an insolent slave so 
mad as to cast himself upon his master's bed ? 
What robber ever reached such a degree of folly as 
to seize the very offerings of God, not lifeless vessels, 
but living bodies, containing an indwelling soul made 
after the image of God ? Who, since time began, 
has been known to have dared, in the heart of the 
city and at high noon, to draw pictures of filthy 
swine upon a statue of a king? He who sets at 
naught a human marriage dies without compassion 
if there be but two or three witnesses ; " how much 
more do you think he deserveth worse punishments, 

V/J.WU. uiaTTip yap -rrapeaTi^aaTe to. fieXr] vijlwp Sov\a tj] aKadapcria, 
Kal Ti]avo/j.ia. eis ttjv avo/xiav, ovtoo vvv TrapaaTr,(raTe to. ^cAtj 
vfiwv 8ov\a rfi 8iKaio(Tvvri els aytaafMoi'. " I speak an human 
thing, because of the iutirmity of your flesh. For as jou 
have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquitj', 
unto iniquity; so now yield jour members to serve justice, 
unto sanctification." Hosea 2. 13. koI iKbiKria-cc eV avT^v ras 
rtfJL^pas Twv ^aaKel/iL iv a'ls iireOvev ahrols, Koi irepifTideJO to 
euwTia avTrjs koI ra Kadopuia avTrjs koi irropeveTo oiriaco rcou 
ipacTTuu auTTjj, ifxov 5e iireXadeTo, \4yei Kvptos. "And 1 will 
visit upon her the days of Baalim, to whom she burnt incense, 
and decked herself out with her earrings, and with her 
jewels, and went after her lovers, and forgot me, saith the 
Lord." 

^ Cf. Luke 17. 2. AvcrtreXel u'itw ei fxuKos ovlkos TrepZ/feiTat 
irepl rhu rpaxv^ou avTov, ;cai eppt-mai els rr]v da.\aa<rai', f] 'tva 
(TKai'5a\l(TT) 'iva twv fxiKpHu tovtcou. " It were better for bin) 
that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast 
into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these 
little ones." 

299 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Tlbv rod Seov KajairaTi^aa^, koI rrjv avTcp KaO- 
oiJLo\oy7]d€lcrav vv/JL(pr]v vo6evaa<^, koX to 7rv€v/xa 
tt}? irapOevia'^ KaOv/Splaa'^ ; ^ a\X^ i/SovXero, 
(f)r)aLv, eKeivrj' fcal oxjk aKouaav i/3iao-d/jLr)v avrrjv.^ 
Kol yap T) heaiTOiva i) aVcoTO? rj AlyuTTTia ^ avrrj 
Tw KoKw ^Icoarjcf) iirejjidvr], dX>C ovfc iviKr]ae rrjv 
dpeTrjv Tov aax^povo^; i) fxavia rr}? aKoXdarov, 
ovSe ')(^6pa\v avrf]^ ^Lafyfiivrj^ iTpo<i rr]v irapa- 
vo/jLiav €KeLvo^ e^idaOr]. dX\' iK€KpiTO e/ceivr) 

TOVTO, (f)7]0-LV, fCal OVKETL TjV TTapOivO^' KOi el 

iyo) firj i,3ov\6/ji7]v, 7Tpo<; ciWov av e(f)ddpi].^ koI 
yap TOP Tlov TOV dvOpcoTTov, ^rjaiv, eSec irapa- 
SoOrjvai, aXX' oval St ov irapehoOr]' Kal tcl afcdv- 
SaXa ekOelv dvdyKi], aXX' ovaX Zi ov epyerai? 
'EttI tovtol<^, M^ iriiTTwv ovk dviaTarai ; rj 
6 d7roarp€(f)(ov ovk €7rLaTpe(j)€L ; Sid ri^ dir- 
€(TTp€-^ev 7] irapOevo^ d'TToarpo^i]v dvaihy), Kairoiye 
dfcovcraaa Xpiarov ^ rod vv/icpLOv Bid 'lepe/julov 
XeyovTO^' Kal elira fierd to iropvevcraL avrrjv 
ravra Trdvra' rrpo^ /ne dvdarpeyjrov' Kal ovk 

^ ivv^fjiaas A, B, C, D. " avTr,v Oiii. A, B, C, D. 

^ ri AlyvTTTia om. "C, D. '* 5ie(pedoT] C, 1). 

"^ (pXOVTOl C, D. ^ SiOC Tl'j hlOTl A, ]>. 

^ Cf, Heb. 10. 29. iroaco SoKe^re x^h^^^^ a^iuiQ-iiaerai Tifxcofias 
6 TOV vlhu TOV Qeov KaTairuTnaas, Kal rh aifia rrjs diadr]Kr)s 
Koivhv T^yriadfjievos iu £ Tjyidadr], Kal rh Trpev/da rrjS X'^P^'^'OS 
iuvfipiaas; "How much more do you think he deserveth 
worse punishments, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of 
God, and hath esteemed the blood of the testament unclean, 
by which he was sanctified, and hath offered an affront to 
the Spirit of grace ?'^ 

300 



LETTER Xr.VI 

who liatli trodden underfoot the Son of God/' and 
hath defiled his confessed bride, and hath insulted 
the spirit of virginity?^ ''But she desired it/' he 
says; "and I did not violate her against her will." 
Why ! that abandoned Egyptian woman of herself 
went mad with love for the beautiful Joseph, but 
the madness of the wanton woman did not prevail 
over the virtue of the chaste man ; nay, not even 
when she laid violent hands upon him was he forced 
into iniquity. "But/' he replies, "in the case of 
the Egyptian woman, this matter had been decided, 
and she was no longer a virgin ; and had it not been 
I who wished it, she would have been ravished by 
another." And yet we are told, '"It was ordained 
that the Son of man be betrayed, but woe to that 
man by whom he was betrayed " ; - and, " It must 
needs be that scandals come ; but woe to that man 
by whom the scandal cometh." ^ 

Furthermore, " Shall not he that falleth rise 
again? and he that is turned away, shall he not 
turn again ? " * VVhy did the virgin turn awa}-, a 
shameless turning, even though she heard Christ 
her spouse declare through Jeremias : " And when 
she had committed all these fornications, I said : 

2 Cf. Mark 14. 21. 6 jxkv vlhs tov avOpwirov vTrdyei, Kadxs 
yeypairrai ircp] avrov' oval 5e rep avOpM-rrcp (Kehcf, Si' ov 6 vlhs 
TOV avQpJoirov iraoaZilorai. "And the Son of man indeed 
goeth, as it is written of liini : but woe to that man by whom 
the Son of man shall be betrayed." 

^ Cf. Matt. 18. 7. ovaX T<f Kocr/xcf awh rwv cTKavhaKoisv 
avayKT) yap iariv eA0ea' ra (rKavSaXa. ttAv/v oval T(f aydp-Jiircp 
iKilvcf, hi ov rh (TKa.i'Za\ov ^px^Tai. " Woe to the world 
because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals 
come : but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the 
scandal cometh." 

* Jer. 8. 4. 

301 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

dvearpeyjre, Mr; prjTLVT] ovk eariv iv VaXadh ; rj 
larpo^ ovrc eariv i/cel ; 8t.a rl ovk dve^r] iaai<i 
Ovyarpo^ \aov fiov ; tj kuI rroWd /jl€V av €vpoL<; 
iv rfj Oeio, Tpa<f)fj rod KaKOV dXe^yj/iara, iroWa 
Be i^ dTTO}\eia<; eh acorrjplap (j)dpp,aKa' rd irepl 
Oavdrov kol dvaardaeo)^ fivaryjpLa, rd irepl 
KpLa€(i)<; (j)ol36pd<; koI alcoviov KoXdaews pyjfxara, 
rd irepl /jL€Tavoia<; Kal d^ecreci)? d/iapTijfjLdrcov -'• 
Boy/ucara, rd fivpla e/celva rPj^; i7TLaTpo(f)r]^^ 
vTroBeiyfj-ara, rrjv Bpa')(iii]v,^ to irp6(3aTOv, top 
viov TOP Kara^ayovra rov /3lov fierd tcov iropvchv, 
Tov diroXcoXoTa fcal evpeOivra, rov veKpov koI 
irdXiv ■* dva^yjcravTa. tovtoi<; y^pfjaaopieOa rov 
KaKOV dXe^yjfjiaai,'^ Bid tovtcov tt]V yjrv^jjv kavrwv 
laaoojJLeOa. 

Ad/3e Be eh evvoiav Trjv eaxdrijv rj/jiepav {ou 
ydp Brj [jLovrj av rov al6)va ySicoo'et?),^ koI (twox^JP) 
Kal TTVLyjjbov, Kal Oavdrov copav, Kal dirocpaaLV 
Seov Kareirelyovaav, Kal dyyeXov^ eirta'TTevBovra^, 
Kal ^Irv^h^' iv rovrof; BeLvoj'^ Oopv^ov/xev^jv Kal 
djiaprwXw crvveiBort TTiKpco^ /jLaarcyovfievTjv,'^ Kal 
Trpo? rd rrjBe iXeeiv6)<; iiriarpec^ovaav,^ Kal dirap- 
airr^TOV rrj<; /jiaKpd<; iKeLV7]<; diroBrjiJLia^ dvdyKrjV. 
Bidypayjrov fiot rfj Biavola rrjv reXevraiav rov 
KOLVOV /3lov Karaarpo(f)i]V, orav eXOrj 6 Tio? rov 
('^eov iv rf) Bo^r) avrov [lerd rcov dyyeXcov avrov. 
i]^ei ydp Kal ov irapaaLwiri^derai' orav eXOr] 
Kplvai ^ojvra<; Kal veKpov^, Kal diroBovvai eKdarto 

^ a/jLapTiwu E. ^ viro(jrpQ(pris E. 

2 Ka\ add. E. ^ irdhiv om. A, B, C, D. 

5 Borieiif^aai A, B, C, D. « fxiu-aeis E. 

' irpojxaaTL'yoviiivqv C, D. * viroarpitpovaav C, D. 

302 



LETTER XLVI 

Return to me ; and she did not return " ? ^ "Is there 
no bahn in Gilead ? or is there no physician there ? 
Why then is not the wound of the daugliter of my 
people closed?"^ Many indeed are the safeguards 
against evil which you may find in the divine 
Scriptures, and many the remedies which out of 
destruction bring salvation : the mysteries of death 
and resurrection, the words of terrible judgment 
and everlasting punishment, the doctrines of repent- 
ance and remission of sin, tiiose countless examples 
of reform, — the piece of money, the sheep, the son 
who wasted his substance with harlots, was lost and 
found, was dead and alive again. ^ Let us make use 
of these safeguards against evil ; through these 
remedies let us heal our souls. 

But bear in mind your last day (for not you alone 
will live for ever), the anguish, the struggle for 
breath, the hour of death, the sentence of God 
urging us to hasten, angels pressing us on, the soul 
terribly dismayed by all these things, bitterly racked 
by conscious guilt, and piteously turning, now back 
to this life, now to the inevitable necessity of that 
long journey. Picture to yourself, I pray, the very 
end of human life, when the Son of God shall come 
in His glory with His angels. For He ''shall come, 
and shall not- keep silence,"* when He comes to 
judge the living and the dead, and to dispense to 

^ The Douay version reads, "done all these things," 
instead of "committed all these fornications," the Septuagint 
reading. Cf. Jer. 3. 7. 

2 Jer. 8. 22. 

3 Cf. Luke 15. 

* Cf. Psal. 50. 3. dehs 4iJ.(pavus 7]|e£, 6 dfhs rifiuv, koI ov 
■napaa-Kowria-eTai. "God shall come manifestly : our God shall 
come, and shall not keep silence."' 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kara rrjv irpa^LV avrov' orav r] craXTny^ ifceivrj 
ixe<ya tl Kal (j)O0epov i^)(^ijaa<Ta, roi'? an alcovo<; 
i^vTTvicrr) Ka6evSovTa<;, Kal eKiropevaovTai ^ ol ra 
ayada iroLi'-jaavje^; eh dvdaraaiv 5'&)^?, oi Se ra 
(pavXa rrpd^avre'^ eU dvda-raaiv Kpiaew<;. p.vt]a- 
6r]TL T?}? Tov AavcrjX deoTrria^;, oit(o<; i)imv vtt 
oyjnv ^ ayei rrjv Kpiaiv. 'EOecopovv, (^rjaiv,^ eo)? 
OTOV OpovoL iriOrjcrai', Kal iraXaio^ rj/iepMV 
iKddrjTO,^ Kal to €vhvp,a avrov XevKOV &)? ^ X^^^> 
Kal T) dpl^ rrj<i K6(^a\ri^ avrov &)? epiov KaOapov, 
ol rpo"^ol avrov, rrvp (f)\eyov. 7rora/jio<; 7rvpo<i 
el\K6v e/jLTTpocrdev avrov' ')(ikiai )(i\LdS€<; iXetr- 
ovpyovv avrw, Kal fivpiaL /jLvpidBe^; irapeiarrj- 
Keiaav avrw.^ Kpiryjpiov eKaOiae, Kal ^l^Xot 
dvecpxOrjcrav, ra Ka\d, ra (pavXa, ra cjiavepd, ra 
K6Kpvp,/jLeva, ra rrpdyiiara, ra pijpara, rd evOvpLi'-)- 
fiara, rd Trdvra ^ ddp6co<; ^ e/? i^aKOvcrrov rot? 
TTaai Kal dyyeKoL'i Kal dv6p(t)7roc<; aa(f)(b<; dva- 
KaXvirrovaai. irpo^ ravra Trora7rov<; elvai 
dvdyKt) Tou? KaKOi^ ffe^LWKora^ ; ttov dpa rj 
-y^L'^r/ eKeivT] Karahvaerai, rj ev oyjreaL roaovrcov 
Oearoyv i^aL(f)V7]<; ocpOelaa ala')(^vp7)<; dvdrrXew^ ; 
iToiw he acofiarc rd<i drrepdvrov^ eKeiva^ Kal 
dvv7TOL(Trov<; vrrocrrijcrerac p^dcmyas, ottov rrvp 
da^ecrrov, Kal aKooXr)^ dOdvara KoXd^wv, Kal 
TTvOfJirjv dhov aKoreivos Kal (f)pLKcoS7]<;, Kal olpLcoyal 
TTLKpaiy Kal 6Xo\vypLo<; e^aL(Tio<;, Kal KXavOfio^; * 
Kal l3pvy/jL0<; oSovrcov, Kal 7repa<; ovk e^et rd 

^ avaariiaovrai E. ^ (xoi add. E. 

^ idewpovv, (ptjcriu] on (prjalv iOewpovv E. 

4 €'«a0eCeTo A, B, C, D. ^ Sic MSS. 

^ Sic MSS. ' TO. iravra om. A, B. 



LETTER XLVl 

each according to his deed ; when that trumpet, 
resounding Avitli a loud and terrible call, shall 
awaken those who have been sleeping for ages. 
" And they that have done good things shall come 
forth unto the resurrection of life ; but they that 
have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment." ^ 
Recall the divine vision of Daniel,^ how he brings 
the judgment before our eyes. He says : " I beheld 
till thrones were })laced, and the Ancient of Days 
sat : his garment was white as snow, and the hair of 
his head like clean wool : . . . the wheels of it like 
a burning fire. A swift stream of fire issued forth 
from before him : thousands of thousands ministered 
to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood 
before hmi : the judgment was set, and the books were 
opened," revealing clearly so as to be known of all, 
both angels and men, all things at once, whether 
good or evil, open or concealed, our deeds, words, 
and thoughts. When they confront these things, 
how must those feel who have lived wickedly ? 
Where, pray, will that soul hide itself which is 
suddenly exposed, filled with shame, to the eyes 
of so many spectators ? What strength will it have 
to endure those endless and intolerable scourgings 
in the regions where is the fire unquenched, the 
worm ^ that administers everlasting punishment, the 
dark and horrible abyss of Hades, the bitter moans, 
the violent lamentation, the wailing and gnashing 
of teeth, and the horrors without end ? From these 

1 John 5. 29. ^ Dsiu. 1. 9-10. 

8 Cf. Mark 9. 44, 46, 48. 



(pavepus E. ' K\a9jjLhs E. 



305 



VOL. I. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Betvd ; TOVTCov ov/c ecrriv aTraWayi] fiera Odvarov, 
ovBe TL<; eTTLvoia, ovBe /ji7])(^avr} rov SieKByvai ^ rd 
TTiKpd fco\aaT7]pia. 

Tavra (pevyeiv e^eari vvv. ew? e^ecrriv, kavTov<i 
diTo Tov TTTco/xaro? dva\dpco[iei>, fiijSe direXiricrw- 
fxev eavTMV,^ idv dvaXvawixev diro tojv kukcov. 
'L;croi}?X/3fcrT09 r/XOep et? rov Koa/xov dfJLaprwXov^ 
awaai. Beure, 7TpoaKVvi]a(Ofiev kuI Tvpoaireawfiev 
avTW,^ Kal fcXavcrcofiev evavrlov avrov. r)/jLa<; iirl 
pLerdvoiav Kokoiv o A6yo<; /3oa /cal K6fcpay€' AeOre 
7r/?o9 fjL€ 7rdvT€<; ol KoinodVTe^; Kal TrecfiopTca/jievot,, 
Kayco dvairavao) vfxd<;.^ eoriv ovv ^ 686^ acoTr)pia<;, 
idv de\co/ji€v. Kareiriev 6 Odvarov La')(^vaa<;, aXV 
€v 'iaOiOTiirdXiv d(f)eZK.ev 6 ©eo? irdv SdKpvov diro 
7ravT0<; Trpoad>iTov roov /jLeravoovvTcov. Ilta-TO? 
Ku/9i09 iv irddL roU \6yoL<; avrov. ov yjrevSerac 
elrroov' 'Eaz^ waiv at diiapriai v/xcov &)9 <^olvlkovv» 
0)9 yiova Xev/cavM' idv Be ojaiv &)9 kokklvov, (hael 
epiov Xev/cavo). 6roL/jbo<; eariv o /meya^ row yu^cuz/ 
larpo<; IdaaaOai aov ro 7Tddo<;,o<;ovBefjLovcordry]<;, 
dXXd rrrdvroyv rcjv BeBovXwfjievcov rfj dfiaprLa 
iarlv eroLiio^ iXev6epodrrj<S'^ iKeivov p-q^ard 
iariv, iKelvo ro yXvKv Kal crcorijpcov crro/ia enrev 
Ov y^peiav ey^ovaiv ol la^vovre^^ larpov, dXXd ol 
KaKoy^ 6)(^ovre<i. ovk rjXOov KaXkaai BiKaiov^, 
aXXd diJLaprwXov<^ eU /JLerdvoiav. Tt9 ovv iarl 

^ eKSvvat C. ^ iavTovs E. ^ avTCf om. C, D. 

* AeCre Trpos fxe . . . auaTravaco v/xas om. A, B, C, D, E. 
^ olv om. MSS. 
^ hs ovSe . . . €TOifios iAevdepcDT'^s om. A, B, C, D, E. 

1 Cf. Psal. 95. 6. Basil says "Him" instead of "the 
Lord that made us,'' the actual reading of the Scriptures. 

306 



LETTER XLVI 

woes there is no release after deatli^ nor any device 
or means of escaping these bitter punishments. 

But now it is possible for us to avoid them. 
While it is still possible, let us raise ourselves from 
the fall, and not desi)air of ourselves, if only we 
become free from sin. Jesus Christ came into the 
world to save sinners. " Come, let us adore and fall 
down and weep before Him." ^ The Word calls us 
to repentance, crying aloud : '^ Come to me, all you 
that labour and are burdened, and I will refresh 
you." ^ There is, then, a way to salvation, if we will. 
Death in his might swallows us up ; but rest assured 
that God hath again wiped away tears from the face 
of every penitent.^ ^'The Lord is faithful in all 
His words."* He does not lie when He says: "If 
your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white 
as snow : and if they be red as crimson, they shall 
be white as wool." ^ The great Physician of souls 
is ready to cure your ill ; for He is the ready 
liberator, not of you alone, but of all who have been 
enslaved by sin. His are the words. His sweet and 
saving lips have said: "They that are in health 
need not a physician, but they that are ill. I am 
not come to call the just, but sinners to repent- 
ance." ^ What excuse have you or anyone else, 

2 Matt. 11. 28. 

^ Cf. Isa. 25. 8. Kareiriev 6 ddparos iVx^'tras, Kal TrdKiv a.<pe7\^i/ 
Kvpios 6 dehs TTov SoLKpvov airh vai'Tos Tzpoaunvov rh uveiBos tov 
\aov a(p€7\ev airh Trdarjs ttJs yrjs, rh yap arSua Kupiov i\a.\f](T^v. 
Here again the Douay version does not follow the text as we 
have it. " He shall cast death down headlong for ever: and 
the Lord God shall wipe away tears from every face, and the 
reproach of His people He shall take away from otf the 
whole earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.'' 

* Psal. 14o. 17. ^ Isa. 1. 18. « Matt. 9. 12 13. 

307 
x2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aoL 7Tp6(f)aaL^, rj tlvl dWcp, ravra avrov /Bomv- 
TO? -^ ; ^ovXeraL Kvpi,o<i KaOapiaai ae dirb rod 
TTovov T/)9 7r\7]yr]<;, kuI hel^ai aoi ^W9 airo 
aKOTOv^. ae ^rjrel 6 7roi/jL7]v 6 Ka\6<;, 6 Kara- 
\iiToov ra [XT] ireirXav^ifieva. iav eViSw? cr6avTJ]v, 
ov/c OKvijcrei, ovS^ aTra^iooaec ae 6 (f)LXdv6pco7ro<i 
iirl Toiiv cdjjLcov ^aardo-ai ^ tmv IBlcov, %at/)a)j/ otl 
evpev avrov to Trpo^arov to aTroXcoXo?. 

' ^crrr]fC€i' 6 TlaTijp xal dvafievec rrjv ai^v diro 
T)]<; 7r\dvr)<; iirdvoBov. fiovov dvdXvcrov, Koi 6tl aov 
fiaKpdv ovar-j^ TrpoaSpa/jLcbv iiTLTr€aelTai iirl tov 
Tpd-)(iiX6v aov,^ Kal ^lXlkoI<^ da'nacrpuol'^ irepiTTTV- 
^CTac Tr]v viro tt}? fieTavoia<; rj^rj KeKaOapfievi'^v. 
fcal GToXrjV ivBv(T6i, ttjv Trpcorrjv, ylrvy^7]V direKSv- 
(Ta/ji6vt]v TOV iraXaiov dvOpcoirov avv rat? avTOV 
TTpd^ear koi TrepiOi-jaei Sa/cTvXiov ')(ep<j\v diro- 
liXwafjuevai^ tov ^ OavaTOv to al/ia, Kal vnoSijcreL 
TToSa? d7ro(TTpiyjravTa<; ^ dirb oBov KaKrj^ irpo^ 
TOV hpofxov TOV evayyeXiov t% €lpr]vr]<;. Kal 
€v(j)poa-vvr]<; Kal x^P^'^ 7)/iepav ^ KaTayyeXel rot? 
lBlol<; Kal dyyeXoL<; Kal dvdpco7roi<;, Kal ttuvtI 
TpoiTw TTjv a?]v eopTuaei acdTi-jpiav. ^A/xrjv yap 
Xeyco, (f)T]aLv, v/jlIv, otl X^P^ yiveTai iv ovpavw 
ivcoTTLOv TOV ©eou eVl ivl d/iapTcoXw '^ fxeTavoovvTi. 
Kav eyKaXear) rt? t&v eardvai Bokovvtcov, otl 
Tax^ 7rpo(T€X7](f)6t]<;, auT09 6 dyado<; UaTrjp ^ virep 

^ ris olv . . . avTov ^owvtos ; om. C, D, E. 

2 Ba<TTd^aL A, B. 3 0-ou om. A, B. * rh E. 

^ i)Tro(TTp4i^avTa% C, D. ^ T]/xepas D. 

' audpwircf E. * (XwTrjp B. 

^ Cf. Luke 15. 7. The exact quotation is : Aeyco ufuv, '6ti 
ovTco X'^P^ ecTai iv r^ oiipavcp iirl ej/i afxapTOiX^ /xeTavoovvTi, 

308 



LETTER XL VI 

when He Himself utters these words ? The Lord 
wishes to purge you of the pain of the wound, and 
to show you the light after darkness. The good 
Shepherd, who has left those which have not 
strayed, seeks you. If you give yourself over to Him, 
He will not delay, nor in His kindness will He disdain 
to carry you on His own shoulders, rejoicing that 
He has found His sheep which was lost. 

The Father stands awaiting your return from your 
wandering. Only come back, and while you are 
still afar off. He will run and throw Himself upon 
your neck ; in embraces of love He will enfold you, 
already purified by your repentance. He will first 
put a robe upon you, a soul which has put off the 
old man and all his works ; He will place a ring on 
the hands which have been cleansed of the blood of 
death; and He will bind sandals to the feet which 
have turned away from the road of evil to the path 
of the Gospel of peace. And He will proclaim a 
day of happiness and joy for His own, both angels 
and men, and in every way will celebrate your 
salvation. For He ^ says, ^' Amen I say to you, that 
there is joy in heaven before God upon one sinner 
that doth penance." And if some one of those 
who think they stand finds fault because you have 
been quickly received, the good Father- Himself 

f) i-rrl evievrjKOi'Tafvi'ea SiKaloLS, o'lrives ou XP^'^°-^ exovaiv /a^Ta 
voias. "I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in 
heaven upon one sinner that cloth penance, more than upon 
ninety-nine just who need not penance." 

* Cf. Luke 15. 32. The exact quotation is: cixppavdrii'ai 5e 
Kol X'^pVt'o.i eSej, oti 6 aSe\<p6s ffov ovtos veKphs iiv, Kal a.i'(Cv<^^' 
Ka] arroKuXus -^r, kuI evpfdr]. " But it was fit that we should 
make merry and be glad, for tbis thy brother was dead and 
is come to life again ; he was lost, and is found.' 

309 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

(Tov diTo'KoyijcreTat Xeycov, Kv(j)pavdr}vai Set kuI 
Xaprjvai, on avrrj i) Ovydrrjp fiov vsfcpa rjv koI 
dve^i-jae, kuI diroXwXvla koI evpeOrj. 



XLVII 

TprjyopLM eraipoy ^ 

Tt? 8a)(T6L fioL 7rTepvya<; coael 7T6pL<7T€pd(i, rj 7ro!)<; 
dvaKaLviaOf) /jlov to yijpa';, coare fxe Svvy]Ofjvat 
Sia/Srjvac 7r/309 rrjv v/xeTepav dydirrjv, koI tov re 
iroOov ov e^&) ec^' vfilv dvarravcraL /cal Ta XvTrrjpa 
T?}? '^1^%^? hi7)y/](Ta(T6aL, Koi hi vfiMV eupecrOat 
TLvd TrapafxvOiav tcov OXly^ewv ; iirl yap ry 
KOipLrjaei tov fiaKaptov JLvcre^tov rod eTricrKoirov 
(f)6/3o<; i)pid^ KaTekajBev ov p.tKp6<;, firj iroTe oi ttots 
i(f)eSp6vovT6<; Trj eKKXi^aia t?)? //.^^rpOTroXeft)? i)po)v 
Kol jBovXofJLevoi avTi]v alpsTLKOiv ^t^aviojv TrXijpM- 

^ rpTjyoplcp eTaipcf irepl ttjs Koifirjacccs Eva^^iov rod eTrttr/c^Trou' 
Koi on exet irph 6<p9a\fx5)V rhv ets ttji/ eTri(TK0WT]v iiriT-nSeiov E, 
etiam in Codicibus Vat. et Med. 

1 Written in the summer of 370. Letters XLVII to 
CCXCI inclusive form the second main division of Basil's 
letters according to the Benedictine arrangement, i.e. those 
\vritten during his episcopate. This letter is written, not by 
Basil, but about Basil. According to the Benedictine editors 
(cf . also Tillemont, Note 32), the elder Gregory is here writing 
through his son to Eusebius of Samosata. 

In 370 Eusebius, Archbishop of Caesarea, died, and Basil, 
who had really filled the archiepiscopacy for some years, was 
of all possible competitors for the vacant see the ablest. 
Basil himself was very eager for it, and, desiring the active 



LETTER XLVIl 

will speak in your defence, saying, " It was fit that 
we should make merry and be glad, for tliis My 
daughter was dead, and is come to life again ; she 
was lost, and is found." 



LETTER XLVIl 

To FRIEND Gregory^ 

^^ Who will give me wings like a dove,"- or how 
can my old age be renewed, that I may have the 
strength to go to your affection, and both relieve 
the longing I have for you and recount the sorrows 
that grieve my soul, and thus through you find 
a solace for my afflictions ? For when our blessed 
bishop Eusebius^ fell asleep, we were seized with 
no little fear lest the enemies that hitherto have 
lain in wait for the church of our metropolis, and 
have desired to fill it with the tares of heresy, may 

support of the younger Gregory, his friend, summoned him 
to Caesarea on the plea of his own severe illness. The 
younger Gregory questioned Basil's motives in the whole 
affair, and refused to go. Cf. Letter LX (XXI) of Gregory 
Nazianzenus. Cf. also Introd. p. xxx. Had it not been for 
the prompt and practical intervention of Gregory the elder, 
and the appeal of this letter to Eusebius of Samosata, the 
archbishopric might have fallen into unworthy or inferior 
hands. 

This letter appears as Number 42 in the letters of Gregory 
of Nazianzus. 

2 Psal. oo. 6. 

"^ On the death of Dianius in 362, this Eusebius had been 
elected bishop of Caesarea, also through the counsels and 
influence of the elder Gregory. It was Eusebius who 
ordained Basil to the presbyterate, and at first chafed because 
of the activity and success of his more able subordinate. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aai, Kaipov vvv ^ Xa^o/xevoi, ryv ttoWo) KafxcLTw 
KaracTTrapelaav iv ral^ -v/ru^^at? rwv av6 payircov 
evae/Seiav rah irap eavrcov 7rovr}pa2<; hiha<TKaXLaL<; 
eKpc^ooacoaL, /cal TavTr]<i ttjv evorrjra KaTare/jLcoaiv, 
oirep /cat iirl ttoWwv iKKXrjaicov Treiroti^KaaLV. 
iTreiBr) Be koI ypd/jbfjLara irpo^; r)/jLd<; d(j)LK€TO tov 
Kkrjpov, TrapaKoXovvra /jlt] TrapocpOrjvac iv Kaipw 
roiovTO), TTepi^Xeylrd/xevo^i iv kvkXo) ifivTJaOrjv r?)? 
v/jL6T6pa<; ayaTTT;?, Kal t)]? 6p6f]^ Trtcrreft)?, Kal tov 
^rfKov ov e^ere del virep tmv i/c/cXrjaicov rod 0eo{). 
Kal TOVTOv eveKev direaTeCka tov dyawTjTov 
YjvaTdOiov TOV avvBid/covov, irapaKaXeaai vficov 
TT]v aefJuvoTTpeTreiav koI SvacoTrrjaai irdai tol<; 
virep Tcov i/CKXrja-Lcov KaiidTOv^ Kal tov irapovTa 
iiTiOelvai, Kdfiov re to 'yrjpa<; ttj (jvvTV')(^ia dva- 
iravaai, Kal tjj opOfj iKKXrjaia ttjv Trepi^oijTov 
evae^eiav SiopOcoaaadai, S6vTa<; avTrj jueO' rjfiwv 
(el dpa KaTa^iwO eiT) jiev avvavTLXa/SeaOai vjjlIv tov 
dyaOov epyov) iroifieva KaTcu to ffovXrjfia tov 
}Lvpiov, Svvd/xevov hievOvvat tov \aov avTOV. e^- 
Ofxev yap irpo ocpdaXficov dvSpa ov ovSe avTol 
dyi'oetTe' ov el KaTa^iwOeitj/xev iinTV^elv, olBa 
OTt fxeydXrjv Trapprjaiav tt/jo? tov Seov KTrjao/Jieda, 
Kal Tft) eTrLKaXecrafjLevq) rj/xd^ Xaw fjLeyiaT't'jV 
evepyeaiav KaTaOrjo-o/ieOa. dXXd irapaKaXco Kal 
TrdXiv Kal 7roX\dKi<;, irdvTa okvov VTrep6e^evov<; 
diravTrjaai Kal TrpoXa^etv to, iK tov %et//,wi^o<? 
Bvo-xepi]. 

^ vvv om. A, B. 



312 



LETTER XLVII 

seize the present opportunity, and by their wicked 
doctrines may uproot the true faith which has been 
implanted with much labour in the souls of men, 
and destroy our present unity, as they have done 
in many a church. And when we receive letters 
from the clergy, urging us not to overlook them 
in such a crisis, as I looked about me on all sides, 
1 remembered your love, your true faith, and the 
zeal which you have always had for the churches 
of God. 

Therefore I have despatched my beloved fellow- 
deacon Eustathius ^ to beg and importune your 
reverence to add this new labour to all your past 
endeavours in behalf of the churches, and not only 
to refresh my old age by your presence, but also 
to restore the heralded piety of the true church, 
by aiding us — if indeed we are accounted worthy 
to participate with you in the good work — to 
give our church a pastor according to the Lord's 
wish, one able to direct his people. For we have 
in mind a man whom you also know well ; and if 
we are thought worthy to obtain him, I am sure 
that we shall acquire great courage before God, and 
shall lay up the greatest store of benefit Avith the 
people who have invoked our aid. Nay, I beg you 
once again, and many times, to cast aside all re- 
luctance and visit me, and to forestall the hardships 
of winter. 

1 Basil had a deacon Eustathius (cf. Letter CXXXVI) ; 
but this proves little for the authenticit}' of this letter, 
because Eustathius was a very common name. Furthermore, 
a monk Eustathius is mentioned in the Mill of Gregory of 
Xazianzus. 



3^3 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 
XLVIII 

MoXi? rjiilv vTTTjp^ev iiTLTV^^elv Biukovov ypa/1- 
fxdrcov 7Tpo<; rijv crrjv Oeoae^eLav, iirel oT ye Trap* 
rjiilv ouTO) Kareimi^av ^ top ')(^ei/xcova, &)? firjSe to 
fiLKporarov^ Trpo/cvTrreLv tmp Sco/jLaricov^ dv- 
e%6cr^ai. Kai yap ToaovTco iT\i]Qei yjLovoav 
KaT€Vi(j)r)fi€v, ft)? avTOL<; OLKOL<; KaTa')(^(D(T6evTa<^ ^ 
8uo p,f]va<; rjhr) rac^; KaraSvaeaiv i/jicpcoXeveiv. 
avyyvooo-rj ovv 7rdvTco<; rjfilv, to t€ droXfiov rwv 
KairirahoKLKMv rjdcov ^ Kal to tmv acofidrcov 
Sv(TKivr]TOV eTnardfjLevo^, el fii] ddrrov eVecTTetX,- 
afievy fJLTjS'' eh yvcoaiv r/ydyofiev rfj ti/jllottjtl aov 
rd diro t7]<; 'Az;Tio%e/a?, a 7rdvT0}<; jxev yvwpi^eiv 
aoi ecoXov iari /cat yjruxpov, irdXai fjbep.a67jK6Tt, 
ft)9 TO elK6<;. ttXtjv dW' ovSev rjyovfMevoL irpdyfia 
Kal rd eyvwap^eva arjixaivetv, direcrreikaixev Ta? 
hid Tov dvayvcoarov fcofiiadeicra^ e7ricno\d<;, Kal 
ravra fiev ek roaovrov. 

'H Be KcovaTavTivov7ro\L<;'^ e^et toi^ Arj/JLocfiLXov 
TToXvv rjBrj y^povov^ co? Kal avrol outoc dirayyeX- 

OVGL^ Kal 7rpOK€Kt]pVKTai TrdvTOi^ rfj OCrtOTTJTL 

^ Evaefiicf} iirKTKOTTcfi E, F ; toS avr<f -nepl A7]iJ.o(pl\ov A, B ; rep 
avT^ aTToXoyla dia rh &apv tov x^'A^'^^'O^ i^^-^ "Trepl Ar]uo(pi\ov 
iiriaKoirov jj-iravo^lv (p-qixi^ofxivov C, D. 

2 KaTeaTTj^av C. ^ a-fxiKpoTarov C, D, E, F. 

* hwixaroiv E. 

^ /caTOX'«^o'0€i'Tes A, B, C, D ; KaTaxo.'(r9fVTO {a fr. as 
rasura) F. ® KaTTTraSo/ca^ ?idos C, D. 

' 'H 5e KoovaTavriPoviroXis] KocvcTavT ivovnoXis 5e C, D. 

^ TToXvv ^Stj xP<^'^<"'] '"'oXvs ^577 xP^^^os C, D. 



LETTER XLVIII 

LETTER XLVIII 

To EusEBius, Bishop of Samosata ^ 

We have had great difficulty in obtaining a carrier 
for our letter to your reverence^ because in our land 
people so shudder at the winter that they cannot 
bring themselves even to put their heads out of their 
chambers for a moment. Indeed^ we have been over- 
whelmed w^ith such a mass of snow^, that for two 
months now^ we have been lurking in our burrows, 
buried with our very houses. So, being yourself 
aware of the characteristic timidity and immobility of 
the Cappadocians/- you will surely forgive us for not 
writing sooner and bringing the affairs of Antioch to 
the attention of your excellency. To be sure, these 
things are too " stale and cold " ^ to be made known to 
you now, since you probably have long since been in- 
formed of them. However, since we do not count 
it a task to tell you even of things you know, we 
have sent you the letters in the care of our reader. 
But enough on this subject. 

Constantinople has had Demophilus * now for 
some time, as they themselves will also report to you, 
and as your holiness has surely been notified already. 

1 Written in the spring of 371 ; cf. Loofs cand Schafer, 
11. c. Cf. Letters XXXI, XXXIV. 

2 The Cappadocians were notorious for their bad character. 
Together with the Cretans and Cilicians, they were accounted 
the Tpia KOLirira KaKKTra, "three worst kappas." 

3 Dem. Meid. 112. 

* Demophilus was elected bishop in .370, to fill the see left 
vacant by the death of Eudoxius. 

^ atray'y4\Xov(ri F. 

3^5 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aov. fcal Ti TTepl avrov TrXdafxa opOorrjro'i Koi 
€v\a^€ia<; irapa Trdvjwv crufjL(j)(ova)<; tmv a(^- 
iKvovfxevcov OpvWetTaL,^ &)9 Kal ra ^learcbra t% 
TToXeo)? /Ae/3>; €t9 ravrov (TweXOelv, koi t(ov 
irXi^a loyjco p(ov nva^ einaKOTrwv Trjv evcoaLV Kara- 
Be^aaOai, ol he 7]/JLiT€poi ovSev a/xetVof? e(^dv- 
rjaav rcov ekirihwv eVicrrai^Te? 'yap €v6v<; Kara 
TToSa? tt}? vfjLeTepa<; ^ e^ohov, iroXka fikv elirov ^ 
\virr)pdy TToWd Ee eiroliicrav, Kal reXo? dv€')(^ct)p- 
Tjcrav, ^efiaicocravTe^ rj/MV to axi'Crp.a.'^ el fxev 
ovv ^ Ti ^evriaerai ^eXnov, koX el iravcrovTai t^9 
KaKia^, dSi]\ov Travrl ttXtjv rj ro) 06a>. ra fiev 
ovv irapovja roLavra. 

'H Be \oi7rr} eKKkt^ala evaradet ry rov @€ov 
')(dptTL, Kal ei^^erat OyLtou t&) rjpi Ihelv ae irdXiv 
eirl T?}? i)fi€Tepa^, Kal dvavecodrjvai Sia r?;? 
dya6r]<; aov hihacrKa'\.ia<;' Kdjxol Se to aS)fxa 
ovSev afiewov Trj<; avvqOela^ e%et. 



XLIX 

'ApKahifp eTTicTKOTra) 

Y\.v')(apLaTrj(ja rw ciyicp ©ew, ypd/JL/iacnv evrvx- 
cov rrj^ ^ eiika^eia^ vpLOiv, Kal evxop^ai avT6<; re 
T^9 e\7rt8o9, rjv e%€Te icf)' i)iuv, d^co<; ehac, Kal 
v/jLa<; "^ Tov iirl rfj rifirj r)/j.cov, rjv iirl tw ovo/xarc 



1 dpvXelTat A, B, E, F. * r]fx^T€pas E. 

' e'lirav F. ^ (TXVI^a E. 

^ olv om. C, D. « Tfjs C, D, E ; t^v edd. 

' r/fias C. 

316 



LETTER XLIX 

A certain simulation of orthodoxy and piety on liis 
part is uniformly noised abroad by all who come 
from there. The result is that even the parts of 
the city that had been divided by schism have come 
together, and even some of the neighbouring bishops 
have accepted the union. And our own people liave 
proved themselves no better than our expectation ; 
for, visiting us immediately after your departure, 
they said and did much that was grievous, and finally 
withdrew, affirming to me their schism. ^ Now whether 
the situation will become better and they will put an 
end to their wickedness '^^ is clear to none but God."^ 
So much, then, regarding our present circumstances. 
The rest of the church by God's grace stands 
firm, and prays that we may see you again in 
my diocese with the arrival of spring, and that 
we may be renewed by your sound teaching. As 
for myself, I enjoy no better health than usual. 



LETTER XLIX 

To Bishop Arcadius^ 

After I had read the letter of your reverence, 
I gave thanks to holy God, and I pray that I may 
be worthy of the hope which you place in me, and 
that you may obtain full recompense for the honour 

1 Letters XCV'III, CXLI, and CCLXXXII also tell of the 
troubles set in Basil's path after he became bishop. 

- Part of a senarias line, but its source is unknown. 

^ Written at the beginning of Basil's episcopate. Basil 
thanks Arcadins for special confidence which he has placed 
in him, and promises Arcadius relics for his new church, 
if any can be found. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Tov K^vpLOv ^Irjcrov X.piaTOv rLfiare r)fid<^, fMiaOov 
reXeLov KOfxlcraadaL. V7r€p^a6r)/j,ep Si, on koI 
/xipi/xvav irpeiTOvaav 'KpLariavu) ava\a(36vTe<^, eh 
So^av TOV 6v6/jLaTO<; rod ^piarov oIkov r/yelpare, 
Kal rj^aiTi'icraTe rw ovn, Kara to fyey pa/jLfiepov, 
^vTTpeireiav olkov Kvpcov, evTp€7TLaavT€<; eavTol<i 
TTjv ovpdvLOv povi]v TTjv TjTOipacT/jLevrjv iv TTJ ava- 
Travaec rot? ayairaycTL to ovopa tov y^ptaTOv. iav 
Be Svpyjdcopev iTepivorjaai Xeiy^ava fJiapTvpwv, 
evy^ofieOa Kal avTol crvfx[3a\e(j6aL v/jlwp ttj 
GTTOvhfj. el yap eh pLvrj/xoavvov alcovLov eaTac 
hiKaio^, KOLVWvol iao/Jbeda, SijXovotc, t?}? aya6rj<; 
/jLVi]/JLr](; T?}? 8o07]ao/jievr]<; vplv irapa tov ayiov. 



Kal TLVi aXk(p eirpeire Kal heCkoh Odpao^i 
ifxiTOLelv Kal KadevSovTa<; Sivirvi^eLV rj ttj afj tov 
rjpeTepov AeairoTOV Oeoore^ela, 09 rrjv iv iracji 
aeavTOv TeXeioTrjTa Kal iv tovtco iyv(i)pLcra<;, tw 
KaTahe^aaOat Kal tj/jlIv Toh TaweLVoh ovyKaTa- 
^rjvai, ci)<^ ciXtjOlvo^ /jLa0^f)Tr]<; tov elirovTO'; otl 
'E/cet elpX iv fJieaw v/jlo)v, ovx <^*> ^ dvaKei/jLevo<;, 
dXX' 'n? 6 SiaKovcov ; KaTrj^Lcoaa*; yap Kal avTO<: 
BiaKOvrjaai rjfilv ttjv (T7]v irvevpaTiKTjv ev(j)poavv7]v, 
Kal Toh Ti/jiLoi,<; eavTov ypdfjLfiaaiv dvaXa/Selv 

^ lvoK€vri({) eTriaKoircf Pu/xrjs C, D, E. 

1 Psal. 26. 8. 2 psal. 112. 6. 

318 



LETTER L 

which you pay us in tlie name of the Lord .Jesus 
Christ. We were very nnich pleased to hear that 
you, assuming a eharge befitting a Christian, had 
raised a house to the glory of the name of Christ, 
and truly loved, as it is written, ''the beauty of the 
house of the Lord," ^ ])re})aring for yourself that 
lieavenly mansion which is provided in His peace 
for those who love the name of Christ. If we can 
discover any relics of martyrs, we beg leave to join 
you in your endeavour. For if ''the just shall be 
had in everlasting remembrance," ^ we shall certainly 
share in the blessed memory which will accrue to you 
from the saint. 

LETTER L 

To Bishop Innocentius ^ 

Whom would it better befit to instil courage into 
cowards and to arouse the sleeping than you, our 
godly lord, who have shown your perfect excellence 
in this also, that you have consented to come down 
to lowly men like us, as a true disciple of Him who 
said, " I am in the midst of you," not as he that sits 
at table, but " as he that serveth " ? ^ For you have 
deigned yourself to serve us a portion of your 
spiritual joy, to refresh our souls by your precious 

^ Written at the beginning of the episcopate. The 
identity of this bishop is uncertain. The common addition 
to the title of "of Rome" is an error, since Damasiis, not 
Innocent, was Bishop of Rome at this time. J. Wittig 
(Studien zur Geschichte des Papstes Innocenz I und der 
Papstwahlen des 5 lahrhunderts : Theol. Quarlahchrift 84, 
1902, 388-439), says that this letter belongs to St. John 
Chrvsostom, and is addressed to Pope Innocent I. 

* Luke 22. 27. 

3^9 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

r]^l(J^v ra? yjruxa^, i^cu coairep iraihcdv vtjTTtorrjra 
Tft) eavTOV fieyeOei TrpoaayKaXlaaadaL. 

^v)(^ov ovv [heofxeOd crov t/}? dyaOrj^; '^I'X^?) 
d^iov^ r}/jLd<; elvai kuI vTrodexeo-Oai rd^ irapd tmv 
fMeydXcov vficov ft)(/)e\eta9, /cal Xa/nffdveiv arofia 
Kcn cro(f)Lav et? to roX-ixav dvTK^OiyyeaOaL v/jlIv, 
T0t9 VTTO rod dyiov TIueufjLaTO<; dyofxevoL'^, ov (f)L\ov 
ae eluai koI So^aarrjpa dXrjOivov dKOvovre^, 
fxeydXyv ewl rfj areppd aov kuI dKkivel irepl top 
Seov dydirrj rijv %a/3fi' opLoXoyovpuev ehyop^evoi 
pLerd TMv dXi-jOipMP TrpoaKVvijrcov evpeOfjvac rjpLcov 
TO pepo^, ev oh ireTTeiapieOa elvat koI rrjv arjv 
reXeioTTjTa, /cal rev p.eydXov koX dXrjdivov ini- 
aKOTTOv Tov Trdaav T7]v olKovpLevrfv tov lBlov 
'jT\t]pcoaavTO<; OavpaTc^, rod KvpLov SeopeOa. 



LI 

^oairopi(p eTriaKoirw ^ 

IIw? p-ov 0L6L rrjV '\^v')(r)V cohvyrjaev r] dfcor] Ty)<; 
avKO(f>avTLa<; iK€LV7]<;, tjv Kark^eov ^ pov Tive<; tmv 
pLT] (pojSovpevcov 70V KpiT7]v, 0? diToXeL irdvTa<i 
Tou? XaXovvra^ to "^evhc^ ; coare irdaav rrjv 
vvKTa iirl T0t9 pTjuaa-L r^? dyd'7rr}<^ aov, dXiyov 
helv, dviTVO^^ Siapueivaf ovtco p,eai]<; ')]yjraT6 pov 

^ BoaTropi(f eTrtfr/c^Troj Kara (TvKOcpivTccu C, D. 
- KUTex^ap A, C, D, F (corr. to KaT^x^av). 
3 6.virvov A, C, D, E. 



The identity of this bishop is unknown. 



320 



LETTER LI 

letter, and to embrace us, like infant children, with 
your own greatness. 

Therefore pray — we beg your good soul — that we 
may be worthy both to receive the assistance 
proffered by your strength, and to obtain lips and 
wisdom to dare make answer to you, who are guided 
by the Holy Spirit; and hearing that you are His 
friend and true glorifier, we confess a deep gratifica- 
tion for your firm and unwavering love of God. 
Praying that our lot may be found among the true 
worshippers, where we are persuaded your Excellency 
also is, as well as with that great and true bishop ^ 
who has filled the whole world with admiration for 
himself, we offer our petitions to the Lord. 



LETTER LI 

To Bishop Bosporius- 

Can you not imagine how my soul was pained on 
hearing of the calumny heaped upon me by certain 
ones who have no fear of the Judge who will 
"destroy all that speak a lie " ? ^ During almost 
the entire night, after receiving your words of 
love, I lay sleepless ; so did grief take hold of my 

2 Written at tlie beginning of the episcopacy (about 370). 
Bosporius was Bishop of Colonia in Cappadocia Secunda, 
and a close friend of Basil and Gregory Nazianzenus. The 
occasion of this letter was a slanderous report that Basil had 
anathematized Dianius, a friend and bishop, who had 
subscribed to the creed of Ariininuni. 

3 Psal. 5. 6. 

321 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

T^9 Kaphia<i T) Xviryj. 6vtco<; yap, Kara rbv ^oXo- 
fiMvra, ^VKO(f)avTLa avBpa raTreivol' Kal ouSet? 
ovTco<; avdXyt]TO<;, 609 /Jirj TraOelp rrjv \lrv)(^r)V Kal 
/caTaKa/jL(f)6f]vaL et? y^'^jv, aroiiacrLV 7rpo<; ^ yjrevBo- 
Xoyiav €vk6Xoi<; irapaireaoov.^ aXXa yap avdyKrj 
TTCLvra areyeiv, iravTa virofxeveLv, tt]v virep eav- 
TCt)V eK^LKrjaLV eTnTpey^avTe<^ ^ tw l\vpiw, 0? ov 
TTepio-^jrerat * r)/id<;' Siori 'O avKo^avTOdv irevr^ra 
Tcapo^vveL rov TTOL^aavTa avrov. ol fxivroL to 
Kaivov TOVTo Spdpa tt}? kgO^ i)ixo)v ^Xaac^rjpiLa'^ 
avv6evTe<; eoiKaa-i Trai^reXw? ciiTLaTelv rw Kvplw, 
09 Kal irepl dpyov pi^fiaro'^ Scoaetv r)/jLd<; Xoyov iv 
rfi '})fi€pa rrj<; KpL(ieco<^ d7re<^i]vaT0. 

'£70) Se, eliTi fiot, rov /jLaKapKorarov Acdvtov 
dveOefjidTLcra ; tovto yap rj/jLOJV Kar/jyyeiXav.^ 
TTOV rj TTore ; tlvcov irapovrcov ; iirl iroia irpo^d- 
aei ; ^ yjrLXoU prjfJLacnv rj iyypd(f)0i<; ; irepoif; uko- 
Xov6o)v, 7) avTo<; Kardp^fov Kal avOevrcov tov 
ToXjxrjparof; ; o) t/}9 dvaiheia^; tmv iravra (pOey- 
yopAvcov pahicd^' o) T7)9 Karacf^povijcrecof; rcov 
TOV Seov KpLfidTcov TrXrjV el /jlt) dpa tw irXda- 
fian avTCJV ^ Kal tovto TrpoaTpaywhi'-jaovaiv,^ otc 
eyevopniv Kal eKcppwv iroTe, coare dyvoelv avT6<; to, 
eavTov prjiiaTa. iirl yap tojv Xoyia/xcov iiirdp- 
-^(ov T03V e/j,avTOv, ovBev olSa iron'^aa^ tolovtov, 
ovhe irpoeXopevo'^ T-qv dp^riv. aW IkeIvo /xdXXov 

^ (Is A, C, D. ^ Trepnrea-uv C, D. 

^ iiriTpfxpavras A ; iTripi\pavras C, D, E ; irmpeipai'Tas fr. 
eTTipixpai/Tas F. 

* oif irepi6\perai . . . airLcrrelu t^ Kupicf om. C, D. 
^ KaTT^veyKav C, D, 

® TToia Trpo(pdafi fr. iroias Trpocpdcnus alia 111. F. 
^ eavrav E, F. * ■Kpo(XTpay(f^T]<Tuaiv A. 

322 



LETTER LI 

innermost lieart. For in truth, as Solomon ^ says, 
"Calumny humbleth a man," and no one is so 
insensible to pain that his soul is not bowed down to 
the earth with suHering, when he falls in with lips 
that are })rone to falsehood. But I must be proof 
against all things, endure all things, committing my 
vindication to the Lord, w^ho will not overlook us ; 
for " He that opjn-esseth the poor, upbraideth his 
Maker."- They, however, who fabricated this new 
tale of blasphemy against me seem to disbelieve 
entirely in the Lord, who declared ^ that we must 
give an account on the day of judgment even for 
our idle speech. 

Tell me, did I anathematize the most blessed 
Dianius ? For this is the charge they made against 
us. Where or when ? In whose presence : On 
what pretext? Was it in bare words or in writ- 
ing? Was I merely quoting others, or myself 
originating and directing the bold deed ? Oh, the 
shamelessness of those who are ever ready to say 
anything ! Oh, the disdain for God's judgments ! 
Unless indeed they add to their fabrications this 
clap-trap also, that I was once so out of mind that I 
did not know what I said. For while in my right 
senses, I am sure that I did nothing of the kind, or 
even had such an intention in the first place. On 

•'■ Cf. Eccles. 7. 7. on ri avxocpavTLa Trepupfpei (Tocphv koI 
airoWvcTi ttjc KapSiav evyeveias ahrov. "Oppression troubleth 
the wise, and shall destroy the strength of iiis heart."' 

2 Prov. 14. 31. 

' Cf. Matt. 12. 36. Acyu) 5e v^lv, on ird.v ^ri/xa apyov, h iav 
\aK-i](T(t3(Tiv 01 &udpci}iroi, anoSwarovffi irepl avTov Koyov eV vi^^P^ 
KpLo-ews. " But I say unto }'ou, that every idle word that men 
shall speak, the}' shall render an account for it in the day of 
judgment." 

Y 2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ifiavTcp avveTTLaTafxai, on, ire tt/xwtt;? r)\L/CLa<; 
avv€Tpd(f)rjV rw Trepl avrov <^i\Tp(p, koX aire- 
^Xeirov 7rpo<; rov avSpa co? p,6V yepapo^ IBelv, co9 
Be fjL6yaXo7rp67n]<;, 6a ov Be excov to iepoiTp67re<; iv 
TO) etBec. iirel Be poi Xolttov koX 6 X070? 7rapr]v, 
Tore Br) /cal airo tmv t?}9 '^i^X^9 ayaOoiV avrov 
lireyivwdKov koI ey^aipov avrov rjj avvovaia, ro 
airXovv Kal yevvalov Kal eXevOepiov ■'■ rcov rpoirwv 
Karap.avddv(ov, fcal oaa aWa ^ rov dvBpo<; ^ tBia, 
7] T% "^^XV** r)p,ep6rt]<;, ro p,6ya\o(f)V6<; re 6p.ov 
Kal TTpdov, ro ev7rpe7T6<;, ro dopyrjrov, ro (f)aiBpov 
Kal evirpocnrov rfj aepLVor-qri K€Kpap,ei'ov. ware 
avrov ivapiOpcov eL)(ov roU 7r€pi(f)aveardT0L<; Kar 
dperiqv. 

Ile/al * piivroL rd reXevraca rod fflov {ov yap 
diTOKpvy^ropiaL rdXi-jOe^) iXvnyjdrjv ^ eir avrat 
XvTTTjv ovK dv€Krj]v p.6rd ttoXXmv ro)v iv rfj 
irarplBi ^o^ovpievwv rov }LvpL0V, errl rfj viro- 
ypacpfj rr]<; TrtcrTfco? rf;? vtto rojv irepl Tedypyiov ^ 
diTo rrj^ }L(ovaravr LvoviT oXecd^i Kopia6€La7]<;. elra, 
olo<; 6Kelvo^ irpaorTjri rpoirov Kal eineLKeia irdv- 
ra<; irXfjpo^opelv iv aiTXdy)(voi^ TrarpiKoU dve- 
yopevo^, 7]Bi] Kararreaoov eh rrjv appcoarlav, vcp' ?)? 
Kal pLerrjXOev diro rov filov, tt poaKaXe(Tdp,evo<; 
r)/xd^ €d>r]' vtto pidprvpL rw Kvplo) iv dirXorTjri 

1 (KivOepop C, D. 2 ^^ add. A, C, D. 

^ ftv add. F. * nepl] (j.^ C, D. 

^ i\vTrr}67]^€v A, C, D. ^ Tewpyiiov C, D. 



LETTER LI 

the otiier liand, I am conscious of this, that from my 
earliest youth I was brought up with a love for 
Dianius, and I used to look up to the man as 
majestic in appearance, magnificent, and possessing 
great sanctity of aspect. And when I reached the 
age of reason, then indeed I recognized him for 
what he was from his spiritual virtues ; and 1 
rejoiced in his company, coming to learn the 
simplicity, nobility, and generosity of his character, 
and all the other qualities peculiar to the man — 
his gentleness of soul, his lofty spirit combined 
with mildness, his decorum, his control of temper, 
and his cheerfulness and affability mingled with 
dignity. For all this I counted him among the 
most illustrious in virtue. 

However, at the end of his life (for I will not 
conceal the truth), I, together with many God- 
fearing people of our fatherland,^ suffered intolerable 
grief on his account, for he subscribed to the creed 
brought from Constantinople by George and his 
associates. 2 Later, so willing was he in his fatherly 
heart, by reason of the mildness and reasonableness 
of his character, to reassure all men, when he had 
already fallen into the sickness which caused his 
death, he summoned us and said, that with the 
Lord as his witness he had agreed to the pact from 

^ Apparentl}' Caesarea is meant here by iraTpls. Cf. 
Letter VIII. 

- The Homoean creed of Ariininum revised at Xica and 
accepted in 360 at the Acacian Synod of Constantinople. Cf. 
Introd. p. xxix. "George is presumably the George, Bishop 
of Laodicea, who at Seleucia opposed the Acacians, but 
appears afterwards to have become reconciled to that party, 
and to have joined them in persecuting the Catholics of 
Constantinople." — Jackson. Cf. Letter CCLI. 

325 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Kaphia<^ avvTedeladai /lev rco cltto Trj<; Kcdv- 
(TTavrcvov7r6X€co<; jpafifiaTeLO),^ /JLrjBev Be iir 
dOerijaet tT;? Kara ^LKaiav iuro tmv dytcov irari- 
pwv eKTeOeicn-]'^ iria-Tew^ irpoekeaOai, fiijSe aXXw? 
e%6ii^ eV T77 Kaphia rj &)? irapeXa^ev ef dpxrj<;' 
dX\a Koi ev-x^eaOai fir] ')(^copiadrjvai Trj<; fiepiho'^ 
TMV fjbaKapLcov eKelvcov iiriafcoTTcov tmv ^ Tpiafco- 
alwv Se/caoKTco,^ tmv to eucre/Se? Ky]pvyfia Bi- 
ayyeiXcivTcov tyj OLKOv/iivr]' Mare r)/jLd<i, iirl rfj 
7r\^]pO(popLa ravTT},^ \vaavTa<; irdcrav tmv Kap- 
hiwv ri]v hiUKpLcnv, co? koi avTO<; iiriaraaai,^ 
TTpoaeXOdv rfj Koivwvla, Kal Xv7Tov/jLevov<i Trav- 
aaaOai. 

Ta fiev ovv 1)1x67 epa TTpo^ rov dvhpa roiavra. 
el Be Ti? XeyoL rivd (BXafj^rjiiiav dOefiLTOv ^ et<? 
avTov i]yilv avveyvwKevai, p}] Kara ycovlav 
6pvXXeiTco BovXo7rp67ra)<;, dXX' et? ro (f)avepov 
avTiKaraard^ BceXeyx^TO) p^erd Trapprjaia^;. 



LTI 



"Oaov rjvLaaep r)p^d<; irporepov 4>i]pLr) Xviri'jpd 
Ta9 dKod^ 7)fx(x)v 'TrepLi'j')(^})aaaa, toctovtov €vcj)pav6P 
'r)p,d(; 6 Oeo^iXecrraros eTriaKoiro's dBeXcpo^; i)p.wv 
J^oa7r6pLo<;, rd ')(pT]aT6Tepa irepl ^ Trj<i evXal3eia<; 

^ ypap-juaTLCf A. ^ rwv om. C, D. 

^ 5e/co Koi OKTw C, D, F. ^ eTrl . . . Tavrri om. C, D. 

^ as Koi . . . iiriaTa<Tai om. A, B, C. 
® a.B4ixiTov om. C, D. 

' KavoviKols irepl tov bjxoovaiov ejvat rhv vIop tQ varpi E, F. 
^ TTfpl om. A, B, C, D. 
326 



LETTER LI I 

Constantinople in the simplicity of his lieart, but 
that in no way had he been inclined to reject the 
faith as set forth by the holy fathers at Nicaea/ nor 
was he at heart any different from wliat lie had 
been in the beginning when he had accepted it ; 
nay, he added, he even prayed not to be separated 
from the party of those blessed bishops, the three 
hundred and eighteen, who announced that ])ious 
doctrine to the world. We, accordingly, on this 
reassurance, freed our heart of all condemnation, 
and, as you yourself know, entered into fellowship 
with him, and ceased to be offended. 

Such were our relations with Dianius. And if 
anyone says that he is privy to any lawless blasphemy 
on our part against Dianius, let him not prattle in a 
corner like a skive, but let him take his stand in the 
open and refute me freely. 



LETTER LII 

To THE CaNONICAE.2 

The great vexation caused me by a painful report 
which resounded in my ears is balanced by the great 
pleasure which the bishop, dearly beloved of God, 
my brother Bosporius,^ gave us when he related 

^ For the Council of Nicaea, cf. Introd. p. xxv. 

2 Written at the beginning of the episcopate, about 370. 
Canonicae were women of the early Church enrolled to 
devote themselves to works of charit}'. Although not under 
vows, they lived apart from men, usually in coenobium. Cf. 
Letter CCLXXXVIII, where Basil is supposed to refuse to 
consider marriage with them as legitimate. Tliere were also 
Canonici ; but marriage was commonly permitted to them. 

3 Cf. Letter LI. 

327 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

vfiMV Bir}'y7)(Td/jL€vo<;. €(f)i] yap, rfj rov Qeov 
')(dpiTL, iravra i/cetva rd OpvWt-jOevTa dvOpciiirwv 
elvuL Karaa Kevda fiara ovk aKpL^oi^ rrjv KaO^ 
vfxd^ iTTiarafMivcov dX^Oeiav. TrpoaeriOei ^ Ee on 
Kol Sia^oXd^; evpe reap vplv Ka6^ rjficov dvoaia^, 
Kol ToiavTa^ola'^ dv eliroLev ol fir] iKhe-)(^6ixevoL koI 
TTcpl dpyov p7]fiaT0<; Bcoaetv Xoyov rw Kpirrj ev 
r)fi€pa T% dvraTroSoaeo)^ avrov rrj SiKala.^ coare 
rivxcLpiarriaa rw Kvplcp avT6<; re laOeU rrjv 60' 
v/jlIv ^Xdffrjv, i]i>, &)9 €OLK€P, €K crvKO(f)avTLa<; dvOpco- 
TTcov i-jfxrjv 7rapaSe^dfi€vo<;, v/jLd<; re dKOv<Ta<; diro- 
redelaOai rd^; yjrevSet^ irepl rjfiMV vTToXrjylrei^;, ef mv 
T/Kovcrare rov dSeXcpov jj/jlmv Sta/Se/SaLcoaa/jLevov.^ 
' O? €v oh TO * KaO' eavTov vfilv Trapea-rrjae, 
avvairiSeL^e 7rdvT(o<; kol to rjfieTepov. ev yap ev 
dpL^OTepOi^ rj/JLLV TO rr}? 7rLaT€co<; ^povrjjjLa, iiretBr] 

Kal Tcbv aVTcbv TTUTepcOV KXrjpOVOjJLOL TMV fCaTa TrjV 

'NiKULav TTore to /xeya t?}? evae^ela^ e^ayyei- 
XdvTOiv Ki-)pvyiJLa' ov Ta fxev dXXa TravTdiraaLv ^ 
eaTLv dcrvKO(f)dvTi'}Ta, ttjv he tov o/jLOovatov (^(ovrjv, 
KaK(i)<; irapd Tivuyv eKXi^^Oelcrav, elai Tive<i ol 
fjLijiTa) TrapaSe^d/jLepor ou? Kal fjLe/JLyjraiTO dv rt? 
hiKaLOd<^, Kal irdXiv fxevTOi avyyvct)fit')<; avrov^ 
d^tcocreiev. to fiev yap iraTpdaL fir) dKoXovOelv 
Kal Tr]v eKelvcov (pcovrjv Kvpicorepav TiOeaOat t>)? 
eavTWV yvct)fjL7]<;, eyKXy]/j.aTO<; d^LOv o)? ^ avOaheia^ 
yefjLOV, TO 3e irdXiv vcf)' eTepwv Sia^XijOelaav 

^ TTpocreTreTiflet A, B, F. ^ ttjs 5(/coias A, B, C, D, F. 

3 fie^aiwcrafxivov A, B, C, D. * ra E, F. 

^ TravTaTraalv] irdvTa /xade^y C, D. * Kal E. 

1 Cf. Matt. 12. 36. See Letter LI, p. 323, note 3. 
328 



LETTER LII 

happier things about your religious life. For he 
said — thanks be to God — that all those stories which 
were noised abroad were fabrications of men not 
accurately aware of the truth concerning you. He 
said further that he found current amongst you 
unholy calumnies against us, such calumnies as 
might come from men who do not expect on the 
day of righteous retribution to render an account to 
the Judge even for their idle speech.^ I therefore 
gave thanks to the Lord, both that 1 myself have 
been healed of the injurious charges against you — 
which, as it seems, I had accepted from slanderous 
men — and that you, as I hear, have laid aside those 
false notions about me, on the strength of the 
assurance you have received from my brother. 

The opinions which Bosporius has on his own 
account set forth accord completely with my own. 
For we both have the same conception of the faith, 
inasmuch as we are heirs of the same Fathers, those 
who at Xicaea once gave out that great proclamation 
of our religion. This has in all other respects been 
wholly free from slanderous detraction; but the term 
^''sameness of substance " ("Miomoousion "),2 which 
has been grudgingly received by some, has as yet 
not been accepted at all by others. These one 
might justly blame, but, on the other hand, one 
might consider them deserving of pardon. For 
while their refusal to follow the Fathers, and to 
count their declaration less authoritative than their 
own opinion, calls for censure as teeming with 
arrogance, yet, on the other hand, their regarding 
with suspicion a doctrine with which others have 

2 Cf. Introd. p. xxv. 

329 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SALNT BASIL 

aVTt]V VITOTTTOV €)(^etV, TOVTO ^ TTO)? BoKel TOV 

iyKXyj/iaro^ avTOv^ jierpico'; eKevOepovv. KaX yap 
Tw ovTi ol iirl TlauXcp rw ^afioaarel avve\66vTe<i 
8ce/3a\ov ri]v Xe^iv &)? ovk €va^]/jLov.^ e^aaav yap 
iicelvoL rrjV rod ofioovaiov (^wvrjv irapLarav evvoiav 
ovaia<; re kuI tmv avr' auT?;?, coare Karafiepi- 
aOelaav rijv ovaiav irapex^Lv rod opoovaiov ttjv 
TTpoaTjyopiav toI<=; et? a hiripeOri. touto he iirl 
')(aXKOv fiev Kal rcov aii avrov vopicr/jLarcov ex^c ^ 
TLva \6yov TO Btavorj/jLa' iirl Be Qeov Uarpo^; koI 
©eoO T/qO ovk ovaia Trpecr^vrepa ovS* virep- 
KCLfievr) dfi(f)0LV Oecopelrar aae^eia^i yap iireKeiva 
TOVTO Kal voYjaai KaX cpOey^aadai. tL yap av 
yevoLTO TOV dyevv7]TOV irpea^vTepov ; dvaipelTac 
Se eK tPj^^ ^Xaa(f)T]/jLLa<; TavT7]<; Kal rj et? top 
HaTepa Kal Tiov ttIo-tl^' ciBeXcfya yap dWi]\oi<; 

TCL 6^ eVO^ V(f)e(TT(bTa. 

Kal eVetSr; ef ovk ovtwv eh to elvai iraprjxOaL 
TOV Tlov €TL Tore r/aav ol XeyovT€<;, 7va Kal Tav~ 
TTJV eKTejxwai ttjv daeQeiav to ojjloovctlov irpoa- 
€Lp7]Kacnv. a^povo^ yap Kal dSidcrTaTo<; i) tov 
Tiov TT/oo? TOV HaTepa avvd<f)€ia. BrjXol Be Kal 
Ta irpoXafiovra pyjp^aTa TavTrjv eJvat tmv dvBpcov 
Tr)v Bidvoiav. eiTTovTe^ yap (p(x)<; eK c^wro?, Kal 
eK Trj<; ovaiav tov TlaTpo^ tov Tiov yeyevr/adai,^ 

1 56 add. B, F ; 5^ add. A, C, D. 

- €v(rr)ij.ov MS8. ; euTjxoi' {" wcU-sounding" ; i.e., "as not 
being a happ3'term") editi. 



330 



LETTER LI I 

found fault does somehow seem to free them from 
a portion of the blame. For in truth those who 
convened to pass upon the case of Paul of Samosata ^ 
found fault with the word as not being clear. They 
declared that the word " homoousion " suofrests 
the idea both of substance and its derivatives, so 
tiiat the substance which has been divided gives the 
attribute of ''likeness of substance" to the parts 
into which it has been divided. This idea, when 
applied, for example, to bronze and to the coins made 
from it, has a certain amount of reason in it ; but 
when '' substance " is used with reference to God 
the Father and God the Son, it is not considered 
as anterior, nor yet as underlying both ; for either to 
think or to express any such idea is worse than 
sacrilege. For what could be older tlian the Un- 
begotten ? By this blasphemy, faith in both Father 
and Son is destroyed ; for things which derive their 
existence from the same thing are brothers to one 
another.- 

And since even then there were those who said 
that the Son was brought into being out of the non- 
existent, to cut off this impiety also, the term "^ like- 
ness of substance" ("homoousion") v.as added. 
F'or the union of the Son with the Father has to do 
with neither time nor space. And indeed the 
preceding words show this to have been the inten- 
tion of these men. For after saying that the Son 
was light from light, and was born, though not 
created, from the substance of the Father, they then 

^ The two Antiochene synods of a.d. 264 and 269, to 
enforce wliose decisions against Paul of Samosata recourse 
was had to the pagan Aurelian. 

^ A reductio ad absurdum. The doctrine of " Likeness of 
Substance " was devised to get rid of this very thing. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ovxL he TreTTOLTJcrOai, eTrrjyayov tovtol'^ to 6/jlo- 
ovcnop, TrapaSeiKvvvre^; otl ovirep dv tl<; diroBa) 
^wTO? \6yov iirl IIaTp6<;, ovto^ apjioau ^ koI iirl 
Tiov. (f)CO<; yap akr^divov irpo^; <^w? d\t]6t,v6v, 
/car avTYjv rod (j)coTO<; Ty]v evvoiav, ovBe/itav e^ei 
irapaWayi'-jV. iirel ovv icrrLV dvap)(^ov (/)a)9 o 
Tlanjp, yevvrjTov Se (^w? 6 T/09, ^w? Be /cal (pax; 
eKdT€po<^,^ ofioovatov elirav^ 8LKai(o<;, Xva to t/}? 
(bvaew^; 6/jl6tl/xov TrapaaTijacoaiv. ov yap to, 
dSeXcpd dW7]\oi<; o/ioovcna XeyeTai, oirep Tive^i 
v7r€L\7](j)acriv' dXX' orav K.al to alrLOv Kal to ifc 
Tov aiTLOV TT]V viTap^Lv e^ov Trj<i avTYj^ virdp^r) 
(f)V(76co(;, ofioovaia \eyeTai. 

AvTY] Be 7] (j)cov7] fcal to tov ^a/SeWiOv KaKov 
eiravopOovTar dvaipel yap ttjv TavTOTi-jTa t?)? 
L'7rO(jTacre&)? Kal eladyec TeXeiav tmv irpoaooTrcdV 
TTJV evvoiav. ov yap avTO tl eaTiv eavTw ofxoovaiov, 
dXX' eTepov eTepw' coaTe Ka\co<; e;^6t Kal eucre/Sw?, 
T(ov re viToaTdcrecov ttjv IBcoTyjTa ScopL^ova-a Kal 
Trj<; <f)V(Te(o<; to dirapdWaKTOv Trapia-Tcoaa. 

' OTav he Ik ttj^; ovaia<; tov UaTpo<; tov Tiov 
etvat SihacTKco/jLeOa, Kal yevvqOevTa, dXX' ov')(l 
iroLYjOevTa, firj KaTaTTLTTTcofJiev iirl Ta^; acofiaTiKd<i 
Tcov iradoiv evvoia<;. ov yap efiepiaOr) rj ovaia 
diTo UaTpo^; et? Tiov, ovBe pveiaa eyevvyjaev, ovBe 
irpopaXovaa, co? ra ^VTa tov^ Kapirov'^, aXV 
dpp7]T0<; Kal dve7ri,v6y]To<; Xoyicr/jLOL<; dvOpayrrwv r^? 

^ ap/xwcrei F. ^ eKarepov E. ' etnoLSP tiv E. 

1 Cf. p. 95, note 3. 

^ Cf. Luke 21. 80. orav TrpofiaKwaiv ^5tj, . . . yivwaKere 
oTi ijSr] iyyhs TO Oepos iaTiv. " When they now shoot forth 
their fruit, you know that summer is nigh." 
332 



LETTER Lir 

brought in also the doctrine of '' Hkeness of sub- 
stance," thus intimatini; that ^vhatever idea of Hi:;ht 
is attributed to the Father, tliis will equally a})ply to 
the Son also. For true light in relation to true 
light, by the very conception we have of light, will 
have no variation. Since, therefore, the Father is 
light without be<>innincr, and the Son is begotten 
light, yet one is light and the other is light, they 
rightly declared them "alike in substance," that 
they might set forth the equal dignity of their 
nature. For things which are brothers to one 
another cannot be called "alike in substance," as 
some have supposed ; on the contrary, when both 
the cause and that which has its origin from that 
cause are of the same nature, then they are called 
"alike in substance." 

This term also sets aright the error of Sabellius ^ ; 
for it does away with the identity of })erson 
(" hypostasis "), and introduces a perfect notion of 
the persons of the Godhead. For nothing is itself 
of like substance with itself, but one thing is of like 
substance with another thing; consequently, the 
term is a good one, and consistent with piety, 
differentiating as it does the individuality of the 
Persons, and at the same time setting forth the 
invariability of their nature. 

But when we learn that the Son is from the 
substance of the Father, and begotten though not 
created, let us not ftdl into the corporeal conception 
of the process. For the substance in the Father was 
not divided to form the Son, nor did it engender by 
fluxion, or by putting forth shoots,- as plants put 
forth their fruits ; on the contrary, the method of 
divine generation is ineffable and inconceivable to 

333 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

0€La<; yevvyaeo)'; 6 t/jotto?. TaiTeivP]<; yap tco ovtl 
KoX (TapKiVT]^ i(7Ti hiavoLa^, rot? (pOaprol'^ koX 
7rpo(TKaLpoi<; acpofiOLOvv ra aiSia, kqI o'leaOai on, 
&)? ra acofiariKa, ovrco yevva kol 6 Q€o<; oijlolco^ • 
heov ifc Tcbi^ evavTLdiV Xa/j,/3dv€iv ra? ac^opjjba^ 
irpo^ Ti^v eva-ifSeLav, otl,^ eTreihr] ra dvyjra ovt(o<^, 
a6dvaTo<^ ou^ ovtcd^. ovre ovv dpvelcrOai Sec 
rrjv Oeiav '^/evvT^aiv, ovre aco/jLaTiKal<; ivvoLai<; 
KarappvTrovv eavrov ti]V Sidvoiav. 

To Se Hvevpa to dyiov Uarpl p,6v kuI Tlw 
GvvapidpelraL, hioji Kal virep rrjv Kriaiv iari' 
reraKTai 8e co? iv evayyeXlw hehthdyp^eOa irapa 
Tov Kvpiov el7r6vTo<^' YlopevOevTe^ /SaTTTt^ere ^ 
et? TO ovopa tov IlaT/Jo? kol tov Tlov Kal tov 
dycov ni/euyU-aro?. o Se TrpoTiOeU^ Tlov, rj 
TTpeajBvrepov^ Xeycov TlaTpo^^, ovto^;'^ dvOiaTaTau 
p,6V TTj TOV Qeov StaTayf], dX\6Tpio<i Se tt}? 
vycaivovarj<; TTto-rew?, prj ov irapeXa/Se TpoTTov 
So^o\oyLa<; cf)v\dTTcov, aXX,' eavTW KaLVO(f)0)Viav ^ 
6i9 dpeaKeiav dvOpdiircov eTrivocov. el yap dvooTepov 
Seov, ovK, etc tov Qeov. yeypaiTTat ydp''^ To he 
Ylvevpa €K TOV Qeov. el he €k tov Seov, ttw? 
Trpea^vrepov eaji tov e^ ov IdTL ; rt? he koI i) 
Trapdvota, €vo<; oVto? tov dyevv/jTOV, dWo tl 
Xeyeiv tov dyevvi'^TOv dvcoTepov ; aXX' ovhe tov 

^ oTi om. E. ^ jSaTTTt^eTOt F. 

^ irpodels A, B ; npoTiBels tov F. 

* e'lvai add. A, B, F alia m, ^ ovrws E. 

^ KivQ(pa>viav A, B, C, F. ' yap om. A, B. 

•^ Cf. Matt. 28. 19. iropevOipTes ovv /xaOrjTevaaTe iravra tc 
iQvT), Baizri^ovTiS avrolis els ro uvoixa tov Harphs koL tov Tlov Kal 
TOV ayiov TlfevfiaTos. "Going therefore, teach ye all the 

334 



LETTER LI I 

the human mind. Indeed^ it is a truly low and 
fleshly mind which likens invisible thin«jjs to those 
perishable and temporal, and believes that just as 
corporeal things beget, so too does God in like 
manner ; but piety demands that we proceed on the 
principle of opposites, and reason that, since mortal 
things do thus, the immortal being does otherwise. 
Therefore we should neither deny the divine 
generation, nor with corporeal conceptions defile 
our minds. 

The Holy Spirit is reckoned along with the Father 
and Son, wherefore He also is above creation ; and 
the place assigned to Him is in accordance %vith the 
doctrine which we have derived from the words of the 
Lord^ in the Gospel: "Going baptize in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." 
But he who puts the Holy S})irit before the Son, or 
declares Him to be older than the Father,sets himself 
in opposition to God's commandment, and is a stranger 
to the sound faith, since he does not preserve the 
traditional form of the Doxology, but invents for 
himself a new-fangled expression for the satisfaction 
of men. For if the Spirit is anterior to God, He is 
not from God. For it is written, " The Spirit of 
God.'" 2 And if it is of God, how can it be older than 
He of whom it is? And what folly it is, w^hen the 
Unbegotten is one, to speak of something else as 
anterior to the Unbegotten ! Nay, it is not prior to 

nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of 
the Son, and of the Hoh' (ihost." 

^ Cf. 1 Cor. 2. 12. rifxels 5e ov rh irveC/xa tov Koa/j-ov e\d- 
^0/j.eu, aWa rh irveCfxa rh iK tov &£0v, 'iva eldci)/j.ev to. vnh rov Qeov 
XapiffBivra T)ixTv. "Now we have received not the spirit of 
this world, but tiie Spirit that is of God ; that we may know 
the things that are given us from God." 

335 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

Movoy€vov<; Trporepov ovSev yap fxecrov Tiov koL 
IlaTyOo?. €.1 he firj iartv eK Seov, Bca Xpio-roO Be 
iariv, ovBi iarc to irapdirav. ware rj irepl Tr)v 
rd^LV Kaivorofiia avrij^; Trj<; virdp^eco'^ dderijo-cv 

€)(^€C, KOl 6\r}<; T?)? 7rt(7T6<W9 icTTLV dpV7](ri(;. 6/JL0LCD<; 

ovv i(JTLv dae^€<; koL eirl Trji/ ktuctiv Karayayetv •'■ 
fcal vTrepnOevaL avro t) ^ Tiov r) Uarpof;, rj Kara 
TOP ')(p6vov T) Kara rrjp rd^cv. 

'A fiev ovv rjKOVcra iirc^rjTeLaOat irapd Trj<; 
ev\a^€ia<; vfiwv, ravrd icmv' iav Be Bw 6 Kvpw; 
Kal eh TavTov r)/jLd<; dX\7]\oi<; yevecrOai, Td')(^a dv 
TL Kal irepl tovtcov irXeov e'lTTOi/jLev, Kal avrol B* 
dv Trepl o)v eTn^rjrov/jLev evpoi/iev ^ riva Trap' v/jlmv 
TrXrjpocpopiav, 

LIII 

^copeTnaKOTTOL^;.* 

To Tov 7rpdyp,aT0<; droirov Trepl ou ypd(f)co, 

Blotl ^ fxev oX&)? VTTco'TTTevd')] Kal eXaXijdr], oBvvrj^ 

eTvXrjpwae fiov ttjv '^v)(i'-}V reco? Be ecpdvr) fxoi 

aTnaTOv. to ovv ^ Trepl avTov ypdfifia 6 puev 

* KaTay^LV E, F. * ahrh ?)] avrh A, B ; avTov C, D. 
^ evp(t}ij.€u C, D. 

* irpbs Tohs ixp' kavTov iTTiCKOTrovs, ware /xt] xeipororert' eVl 
XP'flH-acTiv A, B, C, D. 

s 5idTi A, B, C, D, E, F. 6 ^oSv E. 



LETTER LI 1 1 

the Only-begotten either^; for there is no space 
between Son and Fatlier. And if the Spirit is not 
of God, but is through Christ, He does not exist at 
all. Consequently, any innovation in the position of 
the Holy Spirit involves the abolition of His very 
existence, and is equivalent to a denial of the whole 
faith. It is therefore in like manner impious either 
to degrade Him to the position of a creature, or to 
raise Him above either Son or Father in either time 
or position. 

These are the matters into which I have heard 
that your pious souls are making inquiry ; and if the 
Lord grants that we shall meet one another, I may 
have somewhat more to say on these questions, and 
I myself may obtain light from you on the subjects 
of my own inquiries. 



LETTER LHI 

To THE ChOREPISCOPI 2 

The enormity of the matter about which I write 
(wherefore it is generally suspected and discussed) 
has filled my soul with grief ; yet hitherto the thing 
has seemed to me incredible. So let what I write 

1 Cf. Letter XXXYIII, p. 209, where Basil argues this 
point. 

* Written at the beginning of the episcopate, about 370. 
The chorepiseopi were a grade of priests between the bishops 
themselves and the ordinary priests or presbyters, i.e. 
suffragan bishops. They were first appointed in the late 
third century in Asia Minor, in order to give more direct 
episcopal supervision to the remote parts of large dioceses. 
They are first mentioned in the Councils of Ancyra and 
Neo-Caesarea, a.d. Sli. 

337 

VOL. I. Z 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

(jvve')V(DK(t)<; kavTw Se^dado) o)? ta/xa, 6 Be fir] 
avi'€yi'o)Ka)<i &)? irpocfiuXaKTyjpLOv,^ 6 Be d8id(f)opo<;, 
orrep direvyofxai e'^' ^ vpJiv evpeOrjvaiy o)? BiafLap- 
Tvplav. 

Tt Be iajiv \eyco; (paai^ TLva<; vficov irapa 
Tcov ')(^6ipoTOVOvfievcov XapL^dveiv ')(^p7]/jLara, em- 
(TKLd^BLV Be ovo/iari evaefielafi. tovto Be ^^elpov 
iariv. eav ydp tl<; to kukov ev irpocr'x^ij/iaTL rov 
dyaOov iroifj, Bc7r\acrLovo<; ri/icopia^ iarlv d^io<;, 
Blotl avTO * re to ovk dyadov epyd^erai, kol 
KexpV^^^ ei? TO reXiaai rrjv d/iaprlav, o)? av 
eXiroi Ti<;, TOO KaXw ^ avvepyw. ravra el oi/toj? 
e%€i, ToO XoLTTov fJLTj yiveaOco, dXXa BiopOwOi^TW 
iirel avdyKi-j Xeyeiv iTpo<i rov Be')(^6fievov to dpyv- 
piov,^ oirep eppi)6T] irapd tcov dirodToXonv irpo'^ top 
OeXovra Bovvat, 'iva WvevpLaTC^ dy'iov fierovaiav 
0ivi](7rjTai' To dpyvptov aov avv aot etrj ei? dirdyXeLav. 
KOV(f)6T€po<; yap 6 Be dTrecplav oovi'-ja-aaOaL OeXwv 
Tj 6 TTiTTpdcTKCOv TTjV Tov ©coO BcDpcdp. 7rpdai<; 
yap eyevcTO, Kal o av Bwpeav eXaySe?, edv 7rcoXfj<i, 
coaavel 7re7rpa/jLevo<; rw aarava, defeat pe9i]ar] rov 
'X^apla/JiaTO^i. KairrfXeiav yap eireiadyei'^ TOt? 
7rvevfjLaTiK0L<;, Kal tj) eKfcXT]aia, evda ^ TreTnarev- 
fieOa (TOifxa Kal al/ia \pLaTOv, ravra ovrco 
yiveaOai, ov ^ %p>;. o Be iarc ^ re^vaafjua, \67&)* 
vofii^ovai fxrj afxaprdveiv rw firj ^^ irpoXapL^dveLV,^^ 
dXXd perd rrjv 'x^eiporoviav Xapb^dveiv?-^ Xa/Selv Be 
eariv ore Bi] irore ro XajSelv. 

^ (pvXaKTV,piov E. ^ eV C, D. 

^ <paci Tivai] cpaai tiv(s nvas A, B, E, F. * aurSs B. 

ayadcf) E, ^ t^ apyvptov om. A, B. ' eav C, D, E. 

ou om. E. 8 rh add. A, B, C, D, F. 

afxa add. A, B. ^^ TrpoaKa/jL^dveiv B. 

33^ 



5 



10 



LETTER LI 1 1 

on the matter be received by any that has quahiis 
of conscience as a medicine, by any that has no 
qualms as a precaution, and by any that is indifferent 
(I pray tliat none such may be found amongst you) 
as a solemn protest. 

But what is it that 1 have in mind ? The report 
is that some of you take money from candidates for 
ordination, and cover it up under the name of piety. ^ 
But that only makes the matter worse. For if any- 
one does an evil thing under the guise of good, he 
deserves a twofold punishment, because he not only 
does what is in itself not good, but also makes use 
of the good as a co-worker, so to speak, for the 
accomplishment of his sin. If this be true, let it 
not happen in future, but be corrected ; for we 
must say to any who accepts this money what the 
Apostles said to the man who wanted to pay for 
participation in the Holy Spirit : " May thy money 
perish with thee." - For he who through ignorance 
wants to buy is less guilty than he who sells the gift 
of God. For the transaction has become a matter 
of business ; and if you sell what you have received 
as a free gift, you will be deprived of all its grace, 
as if you yourself were sold to Satan. For you are 
bringing the huckster's traffic into spiritual affairs, 
and into the Church, where we are entrusted with 
the body and blood of Christ. These things must not 
l)e done in this way. I will tell you what the artifice 
is. They think that they commit no sin, because they 
receive the money after and not before the ordination. 
But to take is to take, whenever it happens. 

* i.e. they call the contribution a proof of the giver's piety. 
2 Acts 8. 20. 

^- d\Aa jxira . . . Xa/x^dveiy om, B. 

339 
z'2 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

UapaKaXo) ovv ravrrjv rrjv TrpocroSov, fiaWov 
he rrjv Trpoaayoayr^v rrjv iirl jeevvav, airoOeaOe'^ 
Koi fM7] rci'^ y^elpa^ po\vvavTe<^ tolovtol<; Xrjp/jLaa-iv, 
eavTOV<; ava^iov<; Troirjarjre rod iinTeXeLv a^yva ^ 
/iiv(7Ti]pLa. avyyvcore Be fxou, TrpcoTOv puev o)? 
aiTLaTi]aa^,^ elra &)? ireiaOel^ aireiXo). el Ti? 
jjLera ravrrjv pov rrjv eincrroXrjV irpd^eie tl * 
TOLOVTOv, T(x)v plv ivTuvOa OvaiaaT7]pLcov ^ dva- 
X^pyjcreL,^ ^-tirrjcreL Be evda rrjv rod Seov Scopeav 
dyopd^cov pier air wXecv BvvaraL. r)peL<; yap /cal 
at eKKXrjaiai rod Qeov roiavTTjv avvi]6eiav ^ ovk 
e^opLev. 

'^Ev Be irpoadeU iravaopiaL. Bed (fnXapyvpiav 
yiverai ravTa, rj Be cfaXapyvpla /cal pl^a iravTcov 
royv KaKOiv eari, Kal ovop^d^erac elBcoXoXarpeia. 
pLT] ovv irpo ^ Tov 'Kpiarov TLpi]cr7]Te ^ rd elBcoXa 
Bid pLifcpov dpyvpiov p,i]Be TrdXiv tov '\ovBav 
pip,7](77](rOe, Xt'-jpLpajL 7rapaBLB6vTe<; ^^ Bevrepov tov 
dira^ virep rjpcjv aTavpcodevTa. eirel Kal ra 
'X^wpia Kal at ^etpe? tcoz^ tov<; Kap7rov<; tovtcov 
Be)(opLevcov 'A/ceXSa/^a KXtjdijaovTai. 

1 airoeeadai A, B. ^ g^^„ ^^ 3^ q j)^ y. 

^ irapaKaXw add. C, D. * ti om. E. 

^ fMvoTTjpiwu E. ^ auaxoopiarei C. 



^jor.Oeiav E. ® irpo om. A, B, C, D, E, 

^ 'TpoTi/xriarire A, B, C, D, E. 
" TrpoSiSoVres A, B, C, D. 



^ Of. 1 Cor. 11. 16. el Se ris So^et (pi\6veiKos elvat, Ti/xe7s 
ToiavTriv avvrideiav ovk ex"/^^*'* 0"5e at iKK\r}alai rov 0eou. 
"But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such 
custom, nor the churches of God." 

340 



LETTER LI 1 1 

Therefore, I beg you, abandon this way to revenue, 
or rather, this road to Hell. Do not pollute your 
hands with such earnings, and so make yourselves 
unworthy to perform the holy mysteries. But for- 
give me. 1 began as not believing ; but now I 
threaten as though convinced. If, after this letter 
of mine, anyone do any such thing, he will withdraw 
from the altars of this diocese, and will seek a place 
where he may buy and sell the gift of God. " For 
we and the churches of God have no such custom." ^ 

One word I will add, and then cease. These 
actions arise from covetousness ; and covetousness 
is both the root of all evils and is called idolatry. ^ 
Therefore do not honour idols above Christ for 
petty gain, nor yet, on the other hand, imitate 
Judas, betraying for gain a second time Him who 
was once crucified for our sakes. For both the 
lands and the hands of those w^ho accept the fruits 
of such things shall be called Haceldama.^ 

^ Cf. Col. 3. ~). ycKpuxrare ovv to. fxeAr] ufiwu to. 4nl ttjs yr^s, 
TTopv^lav, uKaOapaiav, irdOos, imOvfxiay KaKTjt', Kot Tr;j' Tr\eov€^iav, 
rjTis iarlu eiSo^AoAaTpeia. " Mortify therefore your members 
which are upon the earth ; fornication, uncleanness, lust, 
evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of 
idols." 

' Cf. Acts 1. 18-19. ouTos iJi\v ovv ^KTricraro X'^P'"*' e'/c tov 
fxiadou TTjs aSi/ciaj, Kal Trpr}vr)s yevofxevos eAa/cTjjre fieaos, Kal 
i^exvOf] Travra to. a-nXdyxva avTov, koI yvucrrhv iyeyero naai 
ro7s KaTOiKovcTLv 'lepov(Ta\T]ix^ ware KXrjOrjvai rh x^p'^ov iKclvo tt] 
Ihia SiaXeKTCf) avruiv 'AK€\daiJi.d, tovtcctti x^^p'^o*' aV/iaros. " And 
he (Judas) indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of 
iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst ; and 
all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem ; so that the same field was called 
in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of 
blood." 

341 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 
LIV 

TIdvv fie \v7T6L, on iinXeXoiiTaaL Xolttov ol 
T(hv Trarepcov Kav6v6<;, Kal iraaa af^pi^eta twv 
€K/cX7](n(ov aireXTjXarai,^ Kal (fyo^ovfiai^ fir] Kara 
fiLKpov T^9 a8ia(f)0pLa<; ravTri<^ 6Sa> 7rpolovcT7j<; 
et? iravTeXrj avy^^uaiv eXOrj ra tt}? 'E/c/cXTycx/a? 
Trpdyfiara. rov^ v7r7jp€T0vvTa<; rfj ''KKKXTjala r) 
TTciXai ral<; rod Seov eKKXrjaiaL'^ e/j,7roXiT€uo/jiepr) 
avvrjOeia fierd Trdat]'^ aKpi^ela'^ BoKi/id^ovaa 
irapehex^TO' Kal irroXvTrpayfxovelTO irdaa avrcov 
rj dvaarpo^rj, el fit] Xoihopoi elaiv, el /it) fiedvaoL, 
el fjLTj TTpo-^eipOL irpo^ Td<; fidxa^, et TraLSaycoyouaiv 
eavTMV rrjv veoTijra, ware KaropOovv hvvaaOai 
TOP dytacTfjiov, ou %«/3k ovSeh o-^jrerai rov Kvpcop. 
Kal TOVTO i^7]Ta^ov jJLev irpea^vrepOL Kal SidKOvoL 
01 avvoLKOvvTe<; avroU, i7rave<pepov he T0t9 
yj£ipe'Ki(7KoiTOi<^, 01 Td<; irapa tmv dXrj6iva)(; fiap- 

^ XoopeiTLtTKoirois iii(TT€ p.r] ylvea-Oai X^P^^^ avroou virripeTas -rrapa 
Tovs Kavovas A, B, C, D. 

* aireXrjXaTO B. ^ Se5oJ/co C, D. 

^ Written in one of the early years of the episcopacy. 

- The Greek Church acknowledges the following orders : 
bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, readers, acolytes, 
exorcists, and porters. Of these, the priesthood (including 
bishops) and diaconate alone are regarded as major orders, 
the subdiaoonate being classed with the remainder as minor 
orders. This seems to have been true at least from the time 
of the Synod of Laodicea (about the middle of the fourth 
century). 

342 



LETTER LIV 

LETTER LIV 

To THE Choiiepiscopi ^ 

It gives me great pain that tlie canons of the 
Fathers liave lately fjillen into neglect, and that all 
discipline has been banished from the churches. I 
fear that, as this indifference proceeds, the affairs 
of the Church will gradually come to complete ruin. 
The i)ractice that has long been followed in God's 
churches was to accept subdeacons - for the service 
of the Church only after a very careful investigation. 
Their conduct was inquired into in every detail, to 
learn if they were not railers, or drunkards, or quick 
to quarrel, and whether they so controlled their 
youthful spirits as to be able to achieve that " holi- 
ness without which no man shall see God." ^ Xow 
while this examination was conducted by priests 
and deacons living with the candidates, these would 
then refer the matter to tlie chorepiscopi, who, after 
receiving the votes of those who were in the strict 

In the Latin Church the priesthood (including bishops), 
diaconate, and subdiaconate are the major or " sacred " orders, 
so called because they have immediate reference to what is 
consecrated. The subdiaconate is defined as " the power by 
which one ordained as a subdeacon may carry the chalice 
with wine to the altar, prepare the necessaries for the 
Eucharist, and read the Epistles before the people."' It is 
interesting to note that Basil in this letter (see below) 
considers the subdiaconate as one of the sacred orders. 

The earliest historical mention of the subdiaconate seems 
to be in the letter of Pope Cornelius (a.d. 255) to Fabius of 
Antioch, in which he states that there are among the Roman 
clergy fortv-six priests, seven deacons and seven subdeacons. 

3 Heb. 12. U. 

343 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

TvpovvTcov he^dfxevoL '\\rrj(f>ov<;, koI vTro/ivtjaavTe'^ 
Tov iiTLaKOTrov, ovTQ)<; ivr]p[,OfjLovv rov VTnjperrjv 
Tw rdyp^ari, tcov lepariKOJV. 

NOz^ Be irpcoTOV /lev r)jjLd<; irapwcrd/jLevoi, koX 
p^Tjhe iiravac^epeLv rj/jLtv KaTaSe)(^6/jievoi, et? €avTOv<; 
Tr)v oXrjv irepLearrjaaTe avdevrlav. eireira Karap- 
padvfiovvTe<; rod Trpdy/iaro^;, irpea/SyrepoL^; /cal 
BiaKovoL^; €7767 peyjr are, ou? av iOeXcoacv dirb 
dve^erdaTOV /Slov, Kara irpocnrdOeiav, r) rrjv diro 
avyyeveia^;, rj ttjv ef dXkr]<; tivo<; (^t\ta?, eTreia- 
ayeiv rfj 'EKKXrjala rov<i dva^lov^. Slo ttoWoI 
fxev vTTTjperai- dpLOfiovvrai KaO^ eKdarrjv kco/jltjv, 
a^LO<i he \€LTOVpyla<; rod ^ OvaiaaTiiplov ^ ovBe 
eh,^ ct)9 L/yLtet? avTol fiaprvpelre, diropovvre'; dvBpo^v 
iv raU yjrr}(l)0(j)opLaL<;. 

'Evrel ovv opoj to irpayixa Xoittov et? dvi^Kearov 
Trpotov, fidXiara vvv tcov TrXelaTcov, (jyoj^w t^9 
(TTpaToXoyla^, elaTTOiovvTwv eavTov<; Trj VTrrjpeaia, 
dvayKaiw^ rjXOov eh to dvaveooaaaOai T0v<i tcov 
iraTepcov Kavova<^' koI iinaTeXkco v/xlv diro- 
GTeVkal [lOL TTjv dvaypacprjv eAracrr?;? kco/jL1]<; tcov 
VTn]p€T0vvTCOv, /COL VTTO TLVo^ elcjrjKTai €KaaTO<i, 
Kal iv iroUp /Slfo iaTiv. e^eTe Be koX avTol irap 
eauTOi? Trjv dvaypa(^r^v, coare avyKpiveaOai rot? 
Trap' 7)fxlv d7roKei/jLevoL<; ypdpfxaai tcl v/jLeTepa, 
Kal pbi-jBevl i^elvai eavTov otb jBovXeTai irapey- 

ypd(f)6LV. OVTCO /livTOL pLeTO, TTIV 7rpctiTr]v eTTLVe/jLTjaiV 

^ TOV om. A, B, C, D. 2 eua-iaa-TTjpluv C, D. 

3 ovSh eh] ov5(\s A, B, C, D. 

^ Cf. p. 342, note 2, For an account of the testing of 
qualifications for orders, cf. St. Cj'prian, Letter LXVIII. 

344 



LETTER LIV 

sense of the word witnesses, ahd giving notice to 
their bishop, then enrolled the subdeacon as a 
member of the sacred orders.^ 

But now you, in the first place, thrusting me 
aside, and not even consenting to refer such matters 
to me, have arrogated to yourselves the entire 
authority. In the second place, becoming careless 
in the matter, you have allowed priests and deacons, 
selecting whomsoever they pleased, without examin- 
ing into their lives, through motives of partiality based 
either upon kinship or upon some other friendly 
relationship, to introduce into the Church unworthy 
men. Consequently, though there are many num- 
bered as subdeacons in every village, yet there 
is not one worthy to conduct the service at the 
altar,2 as you yourselves testify, since you have 
difficulty in finding candidates at the elections. 

Therefore, since I perceive that the situation is 
already approaching the incurable, especially now 
that vast numbers are forcing themselves into 
the subdiaconate through fear of the conscription, 
I have been compelled to resort to the renewal of 
the canons of the Fathers ; and I bid you by this 
letter to send me the list of the subdeacons in each 
village, stating by whom each has been introduced, 
and what is his mode of life. Do you also keep the 
list in your own possession, so that your records may 
be compared with those deposited with me, and 
that no one may be able illegally to enter his own 
name at will. With this proviso, however, that if 
any of the names on the list have been introduced 

2 i.e. few if any of the subdeacons are worthy of being 
raised to the diaconate or to the priesthood. 

345 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BAS 

et Tiv€<; VTTO Trpea'ffvrepwv €L(n]-)(6y]crav, eVl 7 
\aiKOV<; diToppLcpaxTiv. avcoOev he yevrjrat, avi 
Trap' v/jLCOv i^6Tacn,<;, kolv fxev u^lol Mai, rfj u/iere^ 
yfrjjcfxp 'rTapahe)(6i'-)Twaav. eirLKaOapiaare^ r 
""EiKKXTjaiav tov<; ava^iov^ avTr]<; aireKaaavTe^, 
Kol Tov XoLiTov i^6Td^€Te jJiev rov<; d^iov<; ko 
TvapahkyeGde, fxr) dptd/jbelre Se irplv et? 77/At 
eTTaveveyKelv'^ rj yLvooaKere on \aiico<; ecTTac 
avev r}/jL€Tepa<; 'yvco/ir]<; ei? vTrijpeaiav irapaSe^^^deL'^. 



LV 

Hap-qyopicp irpealSurepw.^ 

^EveTV)(^6v (TOV TOL<; ypafi/xaai /jberd Trdcrrji 
fjLaKpodvfila'^, Kol idavfiaaa ttco? hwdfievc^ rjfjLLi 
avvTOfJiw^ KOi evKoXco^ dTroXoyyjaaaOai Bid to)i 
Trpay/judrcov, toi<; fiev Karrjyo pov fievoi^ i7np,ev€tv 
KaTaSe)(rj, Xoyoc^ Be /jLa/cpol'^ Oepairevetv iiri- 
'Xeipel^i TO, dviara. ovre Trpcoroi, ovre /jlovol, 
Ilapyjyopie,^ evopboOerrja-afiev yvvalna'^ dvBpdat 
/jLT] (TvvoLKelv. aXX,' dvdyvcoOt tov e^evexdevja 
Kavova ^ irapd to)v dyiwv iraTepcov tj/jLcov tmv ev rfj 

^ 'ETrel Kadapia-are C, D, F. 

^ aireA.auvoj'Tcs A, B, C, D. ^ aveveyxelv C, D. 

* Sic E, F (sed TpTryopi-j) prima manu) ; Tpriyoficf) Trpea- 
^urepcp x^P'^^^O^'OLi tov (TWolkov yvvaiov A, B, C, D. 

^ & rp-nyopie A, B, C, D. 

^ TOV elei/ex^eVra Kav6va] rhv Kavova rhv i^si'ex^^i'Ta 
A, B, C, D. 

* The indictions were conventional periods of fifteen 3'ears, 
the first of which began in the reign of Constantine the 
346 



LETTER LV 

priests after tlie first year of the indiction/ these 
.sons are to be cast back among the laity. Let 
em all be examined by you anew ; and if they are 
Drthy men, let them be accepted by your vote. 
urge the Church by excluding those who are un- 
worthy of her, and hencefortli examine and accept 
•jnly worthy candidates; but do not enrol these 
hen before you have referred them to us. Other- 
wise rest assured that he who has been received 
into the subdiaconate without my approval will be 
still a layman. 



LETTER LV 

To Paregouius the Presbyter- 

I HAVE read your letter with all the patience at 
my command ; and I am astonished that, when you 
might have made me briefly and without difficulty an 
apology by your actions, you choose to persist in the 
practices charged against you, and by lengthy argu- 
ments attempt to heal the incurable. I am neither 
the first nor the only one, Paregorius, to enact that 
women shall not live with men. Come, read the 
canon put forth by our holy Fathers of the Nicaean 

Great. Unlike the Olympiads, the indictions themselves were 
not numbered, but onl}' the number of the actual year in its 
indiction. Thus here ^era ttji/ irpwTr)v iirivefx-qaiv = "after 
the first year of the indiction," not "after the first 
indiction." 

The Greek, Constantinian, or Constantinopolitan Indictions 
were reckoned from September 1, 312, and were used chiefly 
in the East. The Imperial, Caesarian, or Western Indic- 
tions commenced with September 24, 312, and were used 
chiefly in the West. 

^ Written in the early part of the episcopate. 

347 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

avvoBo) l^iKaLa<;, 09 (f)av€pco<; aTrrjyopevae avveicr- 
aKTOV<i fir) elvai. aya\xia he Iv tovtw e%€t to 
ae/jivov, iv tw Kex^oplaOai Trj<; fxera yvvaiKcx; ^ 
SiaycoyT]';. co? iav iTrayyeWo/ievo^ ti<; tu) ovo/JLari, 
epycp ra tmv ^ yvvai^l avvoLKOvvTcov Troifj, Bf)\6(; 
iari TO fjL€V t^9 irap6evLa<^ cre/jLvov iv rfj irpoar]- 
yopla Blcokcov, tov Se KaB' rjSovrjv airpeirovf; /jLT] 
d(f)L(TTdfjLevo<;. 

Toaovrw ovv fidWov ixPW ^^ evKoXw^ el^ai 
r]pLO)v rfj d^iodaei, oawirep \eyeL<; i\ev6€po<; elvai 
7ravTo<; aw/xarLKOv irdOov^. ovre yap tov e/SSofirj- 
KOVTaeTT} yeyovoTa ireiBoixai i fiTT aO 6d<; avvoLKelv 
yvvaiKL, 0VT6 &)? iinyevopLevrj tlv\ aTOTrco irpd^ei 
(joplaafiev a ^ oipiaa/Jiev, dX)C iireiBr) iSiSd^Bij/xev 
irapd TOV aTroaToXov fir] TiOevai irpoaKOixpia tw 
dSeXcfia) 77* aKdvhakov. othafiev Be otl to irapd 
TLVcov vyiw^ yivopievov, dXkoi^ d(f)op/jLr) 7rpo<} 
dfjiapTLav virdpx^i,^ tovtov evsKSV irpocreTd^a/iev 
€7r6fJL€V0L Trj SiaTayfj tojv dyicov iraTepoiv %&)pt- 
(lOrjval ae tov yvvalov, 

Tt ovv iyKokel^ tw %a)/967r£0"A:o7roi>, Kal iraXaidf; 
exBpa<; fie/xvrjcraL ; tl Be r}fid<; KaTafxifi^rj co? 
evKoXov^ dKod<; e^ovTa'^ et? to ^ Ta? Bial3o\d<i 
irpoaieadai ; dXX! ovx} creavTw "^ /it] dvexo/JLevo) 

1 yvvaiKWP A, B, C, D. 2 ^£,75 a, B, C, D. 

s Kal add. A, B, C, D. * -?? B, C, D ; els editi. 

5 iwdp^ei A, B, CD. « rh om. C. 

' aeavTCf jJiT) avexoixivcii] aeavrov jx-q avexo/j-evov A, B ; aeavrhu 
1X7] avex^H^^vov F. 

^ Suhintrodactae or aweicraKToi were women who were ad- 
mitted to the homes of priests to look after the ordinary 
household duties. Scandals naturally arose therefrom, and 
prohibitive measures were passed at various Councils, the 
348 



LETTER LV 

Council, which distinctly forbids the introduction of 
women into the household.^ Tlie honour of celibacy 
lies in this — that one is cut off" from the society of 
women. For if anyone professes celibacy in name, 
but in fact conducts himself exactly as married men 
do, it is clear that, while he seeks tlie honour attach- 
ing to the name of celibacy, yet he in no way 
abstains from the dishonour of indulgence. 

You should, therefore, have been the more ready 
to comply with my demand in proportion as you 
profess to be free from all carnal passion. For I 
neither believe that a man of seventy years is living 
with a woman for the gratification of his passions, 
nor have we reached our present decision on the 
ground that any outrageous act has been committed, 
but because we have been taught by the apostle not 
to put a stumbling-block or a scandal in our brother's 
way.2 And we know that what is done in all purity 
by some is to others an occasion for sin. For this 
reason we have commanded you to follow the com- 
mandment of the holy Fathers, and separate yourself 
from the woman. 

Why then do you complain of the chorepiscopus, 
and recall an ancient grudge ? Why do you blame 
us as having ears easily accessible to slander ? 
Why do you not rather blame yourself for not consent- 
earliest at the Council of Elvira, a.d. 305- The Canon (III) 
of Nicaea, to which Basil refers, only allowed the introduction 
of a mother, a sister, or an aunt, if their character was above 
all suspicion. 

* Cf. Rom. 14. 13. jurj.'ceTt ouv a\\7}\ov5 Kpivufiev aWa 
rovTo Kpivare juLaWoy, rh /xr) riBfyai irpScrKO^jxa r^ a8eX(pq/ ^ 
aK<ivSa\ov. " Let us not therefore judge one another any 
more. But judge this rather, that you put not a stumbling- 
block or a scandal in your brother's way." 

349 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

aTToarrjvai t?}? irpo^ rrjv yvval/ca avvrjOeia^ ; 
eK^aWe '^ Toivvv avrrjv airo rov oikov aov, Kal 
KardaTTjaov avrrjv iv /lovacrrrjpiq). earco eKeivrj 
/jLcra irapOevwv, koX av vir-qperov vir avhpoiv, U'a 
fir) TO ovofxa Tov Seov St u/za? ^ /3\aa(j)ij/jLr)Tai. 
ecu? 8' av ravra 7roifj<;,^ at /jLvpidBe<;, acrirep ^ 
auyypd(l)€i<; Bid rcov iTriaroXcov, ovSev (jO(f)€\/](Tov(Ti 
ere, dWd Te\evT7]a€i-<; dpycov, kuI Bd}a€i<; rw Yivpiw 
\oyov T7]<i aeavTov ^ dpy'ia'^. edv Be ToXyLt?;cr?;?, 
IMYj BLop6(oadijL€vo<; aeuvTov, dvre-)(e(T6ai r?}? 
i€pci)avv7]<;, dvdOefxa ecrrj iravrl rw Xaw, Kal ol 
Be)(6/xevoL (76 €KK7]pvKT0L Kara TTCicrav 'E/cKXyjcTLav 
yevi'^aovTai. 

LVI 

Tiepyafxiw,^ 

Wiixl fiev (f)va€i €VKo\o^ Trpo? rrjv XrjOrjv, eV- 
eyevero Be fMOL Kal to tmv da^oKiOiv ttXtjOo^;, 
einrelvov rrjv €k (f)va€a)<; dppcoarlav. ware el 
Kal "^ /jL7) fie/jLVTj/xaL Be^d/j.evo<; ypd/jL/jLara r?)? 
evyeveia<; aov, ireido/jiaL eireaTaXKevai ae rj/ilv, ov 
yap av 7rdvTC0(; yjrevBo^ elrrelv ae. rov Be firf 
dvTLcfiOey^acrOai ovk iyco atri,o<;, aX,V o fir] 
aTraLTTjcra^ ra? d7roKpLaet<;. vvvl Be ij/cei aoi to, 
ypd/jLfiara ravra, virep re rcov (^Oaadvrwv cltto- 
\oyiav irXt-jpovvra Kal dp)(}iv BiBovra TrpoarjyopLa^ 
BevTepa<^. coare eireiBdv eiTLareXXr}<; tj/xlv, /jLT) co? 

i r«;8aAe A, C, D, F. 2 ^^-, (j^ j) 

^ xoiT^cras B. * aanep MSS., ajrcp editi. 

^ eavTov E. 6 Uepyd/xcf) Cod. Med. 

' Kal el A, B, C, D. 



LETTER L\l 

ing to give uji tlie society of the woman ? Come 
now, expel her from your house, and phice her in a 
convent. Let her Hve with virgins, and do you be 
served by men, that the name of the Lord may not 
be bhisphemed on your account. Until you do this, 
the countless exj)lanations which you make in your 
letters will not avail you ; but in suspension you will 
die, and will give to the Lord an accounting for 
your suspension. And if you dare, without correct- 
ing your ways, to cling to your priestly office, you 
will be anathema to all the laity ; and those who 
receive you will be excommunicated throughout the 
Church. 



LETTER LVI 

To Pergamius^ 

I HAVE always been naturally forgetful, and the 
access of my manifold duties has increased this natural 
weakness. Therefore, although I have no recollection 
of having received a letter from your Nobility, 1 
am sure that you have written to me, since I know 
that you would certainly not tell a folsehood. Yet 
it is not I that am to blame for your having received 
no answer, but the bearer, who failed to demand the 
reply. But now you have received this letter, which 
both serves as an apology for those already received 
and offers an opportunity for a second greeting. So 
when you next write to us, do not consider that you 

^ Written at the beginning of the episcopate. Nothing is 
known of Perganiius, who is rebuked in this letter. He was 
apparently a la^'man, a person of some consequence, to judge 
by the titles with which Basil addresses him. 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

ap^a<; hevrepa^ irepLohov ypafi/idrcov Biavoov, aXX' 
d)<; d7ro'7rXT]p(0(ra<; inl tol<; Trapovacra o<^eC\6p.eva. 
Koi 'yap el ^ koI dvTLBo(Ti,<; irpoayovrcov ^arX rd 
TjfMirepa, dWd to) irkeov rj BcTrXdcnov virep- 
pdWeiv Kara to fierpov eKarepav^ rrjv rd^iv 
d7ro7r\rjpct)(J€L. 6pa,(; oirola G0(^i^ea6ai rjfid^ rj 
dpyua ^ KaravajKd^eL ; 

Xv Be iravaai, co dptare, iirdycov * iv fXiKpol^ 
p7]/jLa(7i /Jieyd\a<; alria'^, ov/xevovv e)(^ov(7a^ virep- 
l3o\7)v et9 fcaKiav.^ Xrjdrj yap cpiXwv, Kal VTrepoyjrca 
eic Bwaajeia^ eyyivopievr], irdvra e;^ei ojjlov rd 
Beivd. elVe yap ovk dyaTrco/xev Kard ti]v evroXrjv 
Tov Kvpiov, ovBe tov 'X^apaKrrjpa eiriKeifievov rjpLlv 
exop'ev etVe (j)pov7]p,aTo<; Kevov Kal aXa^oveia^ vire- 
7r\7]adi]/jLev TVcj)cod6VT€<;, efMirliTTO/jLev eh d(f)VKTOv 
Kpifjba TOV Bia^oXov. codTe el fiev oi/ro)? ex^ov 
BLavoia<^ Trepl y/xcov, tovtol^ expvcrf^ Toh p^fxaaLv, 
ev^ai (fivyelv ?;/xa? Tifv TTovqpiav, fjv efeO/369 rjp^oiv 
ev T(p TpOTTfp' el Be avvrjdeia tlv\ dve^eTddTco eiri 
Tcbv prip^aTcov rjXOev 7] yXcoTTa, eavTOv<; irapa- 
/jLvOr)a6p.e6a Kal ttjv (Trjv XPV^'^^'^V'^^ '^^^ ^^ '^^^ 
irpaypidTwv p.apTVpia'^ Trpocrdelvat ^ irapaKoKov- 
pev. eKelvo ydp ev icrdi, otl 7] vapovaa (f)povTl<^ 
Ta7reiv(t)creco<i Tjplv yeyovev d(popp,7], axTTe aov 
Tore eiriXyjaopeda, oTav Kal eavTov^ dyvorjcrcopev. 
pLT) Toivvv TTore Td<; daXoXia^i ar]p,eLov Tpoirov kul 
KaK07]Oeia<; 7roL7]arj. 



^ Kal yap et] koi yap Ka\ et (fr. t] alia m.) F. 
* kKUTepwv A, B, 0, D, F (w fr. o). 



352 



LETTER LVI 

are beginning a second series of letters, but that 
you are paying oft" the debt which this present note 
creates. For even though my letter is a return for 
your previous one, yet, by exceeding yours in length 
by more than twice, it will pay oftHhe double obliga- 
tion. Do you see to what sophistry idleness has 
driven me ? 

As for you, dear sir, cease in your brief expressions 
to bring serious charges, charges indeed that imply 
the utmost depravity. For " forgetfulness of friends," 
and that " haughtiness which is engendered by power,' ' 
embrace all the crimes there are. For if we fail to 
love according to the commandment of the Lord, 
neither do we possess the character suitable to our 
position ; and if we are filled with the conceit of 
empty pride and arrogance, then we are fallen into 
the sin of the devil from which there is no escape. 
Therefore, if you really held this opinion of us when 
you used these expressions, pray that we may 
escape the iniquity which you have found in our 
character ; if, however, your tongue came upon 
those expressions through a kind of indiscriminate 
habit, we will console ourselves, and merely ask your 
Excellenc}' to furnish in addition the evidence based 
upon actions. For of this much be well assured, that 
my present reflections have been an occasion of 
humiliation for me, so that we shall only forget you 
when we shall have ceased to know ourselves. There- 
fore never assume that a man's preoccupation with 
affairs is a sign of his character or of malice. 

^ apjiia F. * iwdyuiv om. A, B, C, D. 

^ irapfx<^f^^^os add. A, B, C, D, F (supra alia m.). 

^ npoadrivai F. 

353 

VOL. I. A A 



COLLECTED^-LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

LYIl 

MeXertco, iiriaKoirw 'Ai^r/o^^eta?.^ 

El' 7rco9 iyevero (pavepov rfj Oeoaefieia crov r/}? 
ev^poavvif'^ to /jLiyedo<;, fjv ^ i/jLTTOce'l^ rj/alv 6adKt<; 
av i7Ti(TTeWr]<;, olSa otl ovk av irore ^ irapa- 
ireaovaav ypa/i/JLarcov irpocpaaiv vTrepe^r]'^' aWa 
Kal eiTev6r](ja<^ av 7roWa<; rjfxlv iroLelv eKaarore 
ra? e-maroXdi;, yvwpi^wv rov eirl rfj dvairavaei 
Tcjp OXt^o/JLevcov * irapd rod (piXavOpcoTrov Aea- 
TTOTov fjLLaOov aTTOKel/jLevov. TTCLvra yap 6Svv7]<; 
TCI TjjSe 7r€7r\7] pcoTUL,^ Kal fjLovr] rjfjLLp eaTLv 
diToaTpo^r) tmv heivoiv r) t?)? (T^? oo'tOTT^TO? 
evvoia' fjV evapyeaTepav r]plv ipLTTOLel rj Sta twv 
7Tda7]<; (ro(j)La<; Kal x^P^'^^'^ 7r€7r\7]pcofi6vcov ypa/jL- 
fMciTcov crov ofjiiXla. waTe oTav Xd^cofiev ei? 
yelpa'i Tr)v einaToXrjv aov, irpcoTOv jxev to fieTpov 
avTTj^; emaKoiTOvpLev, Kal ToaovTov avTrjv dyaTrco' 
fi€v, oaairep av irepiaaevr) tw irXijOei, eireiTa^ 
hie^iOVTe^, tw fiev del irpocrTvy^^dvovTi tov Xoyov 
'^alpofiev, tQ) reXet he tt}? e7n(7ToXrj<i Trpoaeyyl- 
^ot're?,' Bvcr^epaivopev. ovtw irdv OTiirep ^ av 
ei7rr}<; toI^ ypdfz/jLacnv evecJTLV dyaOov. diro yap 
dya6r]<i Kaphia^i dyaOov eciTi to Trepiaaevov. 

Et he KaTa^icoOetypLev rat? aaU 7rpocref%at9, 
eo)? ea/jL€v eirl 7^9, Kal Trj(; KaT ocpOaX/iov^ 

1 MeAeriV eVio-zct^Tr^ MSS. ' ^s C, D. 

3 &u iroTf] dfiTTore E. * 0Ai>ea>i' A, B, C, D. 

5 ireTrXripwi'Tai A, B. ^ 5e add. F. 

' KaTcyyl^ovres E. * (iirep E. 

354 



LETTER LVII 

LETTER LVII 

To Meletius, Bishop of Antioch ^ 

If your Holiness could somehow have realised the 
great hap})iness which you inspire in us whenever 
you write, I am sure you would never have passed 
over any pretext that came your way for a letter ; 
nay, you would have contrived many pretexts for 
writing us letters on every occasion, knowing the 
reward which is reserved by our loving Master for 
the relief of the afflicted. For everything here is 
full of distress, and my only refuge from my troubles 
is the thought of your Holiness : and this is brought 
more vividly to my mind by the intercourse which 
your letters, so full of all wisdom and grace, give 
me. Hence, whenever we take into our hands a 
letter from you, we first of all observe its length, 
and love it in proportion as it goes beyond the 
average in size. Then, as we read it, we take 
delight in every word that meets our eyes ; but as 
we approach the end, we are sad. To such an 
extent is all the goodness of your spoken words 
found in your letters I For the abundance that 
floAvs from a good heart is good. 

If, in answer to your prayers, we should be thought 
worthy, while still on earth, to meet you face to 

^ Written in 371. This date is supported by Basil's state- 
ment that the church of Caesarea was still in an unfortunate 
state. He had not as j'ct firmlj' consolidated his position as 
Archbishop. Meletius had already been in exile from 
Antioch for seven j'ears, on account of his orthodoxy, 
although he was not in full communion with Catholics, 
because of the Eustathian schism. 

355 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SALXT BASIL 

(TVVTV)(ia<;, Kal Trap' avT7]<; r/79 ^co(jr)<i ^coi^?)? 
Xa/Selv uKJ^eXcfia SiSdy/jbara, rj icjyoSia tt/jo? re rov 
ivearoyja alojva /cal rov /jLeWovra, rovro av 
fjLeyio-Tov Tcbv dyaOcov i/cpuva/jLev, Kal TTpooifJLLOv 
tt)? irapa 0eoO evfieveua^; eavTol<^ irLdifjueOa' koI 
TjSi] ye T779 6pfjL7J<; el-y^opieOa ravT-q^, el firj 01^ 
yvijatcoraTOL Kal rd iravja <^i\dhe\(^OL dheX^ol ^ 
eireayxtv 7;/xa9, Oiv Iva /jlt] ypdpLfiaai ^ Sij/jioatevaa) 
rrjv irpoaipeaLv, SujytjcrdfJL'ijv to) dBe\(j)w 0eo- 
(ppdarw rfi afj reXeiorrjTt ^ rd KaO' eKaarov 
dirayyecXaL. 



LYUl 

Vprjyopicp dBeXcpw.^ 

Hw? dv croi Std ypa/jLfjLdrcov ^ fia')(e(Tdei7)v ; 7rw9 
8' dv d^lci)^ crov KaOayjrai/JLTjv T779 Trepl iravra 
y^pr^aroTrjTO'^ ; rpiTov tl<;, elire poL, roU avTot<; 
TTepnTiTTTeL SiKTVOL<; ; rpirov Tt9 rr} avrjj irepi- 
TTLTrrec Trdyrj; ovS^ dv rcov dXoycov rt rovro ^ paBico<; 
irdOoc. piiav pLOt avpirXdaa^ ^ e7riaro\T)v eKopLi- 
aa<;, ct)9 rrapd rov alSeacpcordrov emaKoiTov ^ Kal 
KOLvov 6eiov 7)p,cov, diraroiv pie ovk olSa dvO^ orov. 

^ oi om. C, D. 2 a5€\(po\ add. Capps. 

^ ypi/jLixaTi A, B, C, D. * rijXLor-qri B. 

^ Tp7)yopicf> iTTLCTKOTra! Kal d5sA(^'jD E, F, Cod. Med. 

^ ypdix/jLaros C, D. " toiovtov E, toiovto F. 

8 (Tv/jLTrXe^as C, D, E. ^ etrKTKOTTOv om. A, B, C, D. 

1 Perhaps the deacon Theophrastus, who died shortly 
after Easter, a.d. 372 ; cf. Letter XCV. According to 

356 



LETTER LVIII 

face, and from your living speech itself to receive 
helpful instruction, or provision for the journey of 
both this life and the next, this we should have 
accounted the greatest of all goods, and should have 
eet it down as an intimation of God's special favour 
to ourselves. And we should have adhered to this 
earnest desire even yet, had we not been restrained 
by our most true and in all respects brotherly 
brethren. In order to avoid making known their 
intention, I have told our brother Theophrastus ^ 
about it, that he may ex])lain the situation to your 
Perfection in detail. 



LETTER LVIII 

To Gregory, his Brother ^ 

Would that I could contend Avith you by letter ! 
Would that I could upbraid your utter simplicity as 
it deserves ! Who, tell me, ever falls a third time 
into the same net? Who ever falls a third time 
into the same snare .^ Even a brute beast would 
scarcely do that. You forged a letter, and brought it 
to me as if from our common uncle, the most 
revered bishop, deceiving me for some unknown 

Maran, the intentions referred to here are the plans to bring 
about the peace of the whole Church. 

2 Written in 371. Basil's uncle Gregory had been in sym- 
pathy with the disaffected suffragans in their troitbles with 
Basil ; cf. Introd. p. xxxi. To effect a reconciliation be- 
tween the two, Gregory of Nyssa went so far as to forge 
several letters in his uncle's name. The counterfeit was 
naturally found out, and the breach between the two was 
only bridged with great difficulty. 

357 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

iBe^d/xTjv o)? Trap' iincrKOTTov ^ Sia aov KOfXiaOelaav, 
TL yap ov/c e/jLeWov ; iirehsL^a ^ 7roWoi<; tmv (j)l\cov 
viTo 'TTept)(^ape'ia<^, rju^apLCTTTjcra rw 0e«. V^€'y')(^07} 
TO irXda/ia, avrov rod emaKoirov Sia r?}? t^ta? 
(j)Q)V7](; dpv7)(Ta/jL€Vou. Karya-^vvOTjfjLev eii eKeivr]' 
rjv^dfJLeOa r)/j,LV Siaarrjvat rrjv yrjv, paSLOvpyia<; 
Kal yjrevSov^; kol d7rdTr}<; oveiSei irepL^XrjOevTe^i. 
hevrepav irdXiv aTreScofcdv /loi, &)? Sid rou oIk6tov 
(Tov Wareplov irap^ avrov rod eTnaKoirov /jloi 
aTToarakelaav. ovhe i/ceivijv ^ a\rjdo}<; avro'^ 6 eiri- 
(TKOiros SLeTre/jLyjraro, co? o alhecnixoDraro'^ dhe\(j>o<^ 
"AvOl/j.o<; rj/jLLv aTTTjyyeiXe. rpirr}v ttuXlv ^ASa/ndv- 
rLo<; 7]K€ Trpo? r)/jLd<; KOfxi^wv. ttw? e^ec fie he^aaOai 
rd ^ Bid aov Kal roiv acov Tre/iTro/ieva ; ^ rjv^d/jLrjv dv 
XiOov Kaphiav ex^tv, ware /xyjre roiv rrapeXOovrcDv 
fiefJivrjadaL firjre roiv rrapovrcov alaOdveaOau, virep 
rov irdaav TrXrjyrjv eh yrjv fC€KV(l)co<; <j)€peiv ^ co^rd 
^oa/crjfiara. dXXd rl irdOco tt/jo? rov e/jiavrou 
XoyLa/xov, fierd fiiav Kal Sevrepav irelpav, ovhev 
Bvvdfievov dve^erdarco<^ irpoaieaOaL ; 

Tavra rrj(; ar)<^ dirXorriro^ KaOaTTrofievo'i 
^eypa^lra, fjv ovS* ^ dXXco<; irperrovaav XpiarLavoh, 
■jw irapovri Kaipw opco ^ p,rj dp/jLo^ovaav, Iva tt/jo? 
yo'vV TO ^ e^ef t)? eavrov ^^ re cpvXdrroL^ ^^ Kdjxov 
(peiBy iireiSr], Set yap /xe tt/jo? ae fxerd TTapprjaLa^ 
elrrelv, dva^Lomaro'^ el rojv roiovrwv hidKovo^;' 
irXrjv oXrLve<; dv oiatv ol eirearaXKore^, aireKpiva- 

1 KoX Koivov irarpos add. F in marg. ^ virfBei^a E, 

3 eK^ivr]v a.\7]Qws . . . a5eX(pos "ApOijulos] e/ceivTj aA.rj0r;s, avTos 
6 iTrifTKOTros hi^jxaprvparo cttI tov alSeai/j-wrdrov a.SiX<pov 'Avdi/xov 
u)S avrhs A, B, C, D. 

* TO, om. editi. '" ir^^iro^^vnv editi. 

« {>iro<p4p€iv E, F. ' ou5' om. A, B, C, D, E, F. 



LETTER LVIII 

reason. I received it as sent by the bishop through 
you. Wliy should I not have done so ? I showed it 
with great joy to many of my friends, and gave 
thanks to God. The forgery was then exposed, the 
bishoj) himself with his own lips disowning it. We 
were put to shame, and prayed that the earth might 
open to receive us, overwhelmed as we were by the 
reproach of duplicity, falsehood, and deceit. Then 
again they handed me a second letter, as having 
been sent to me by the bishop himself through your 
servant Asterius. But the bishop himself had not 
really despatched this one either, as our most 
reverend brother Anthimus ^ has told us. And now 
Adamantius comes bringing us a third letter. How 
could I possibly accept any messages brought by 
you or yours .' I might have prayed for a heart of 
stone, that I might neither remember the past nor 
be sensible of the present, but, bowing my head to 
the ground, might endure every blow, as cattle do. 
But what is become of my reason when, after a first 
and second experience, I find that I can believe 
nothing without investigation I 

1 write these words to upbraid you for your 
fatuity — which I consider at no time befitting a 
Christian, and entirely out of place at the present 
moment — in order that in the future, at any rate, you 
may guard yourself, and spare me ; because — for I 
must speak to you frankly — you are no trustworthy 
agent in such matters. However, whoever may be 
the authors of the letters, we have sent them a 

^ Bishop of Tvana, and at odds with Basil ; cf. Letters 
CXX, CXXI, CXXII, and CCX. 

® Tcf irapovTi Kaipif 6pa>] rois irapovai naipois KaOopSi E, F. 
' TO C, D. ^° aavTovY. ^^ <pv\d.TTrjs F. 

359 



COLLECTED LETTERS OF SAINT BASIL 

fieOa at'Tot? ra eiKora' elre ovv avTo<^ airoireLpdv ^ 
/jLOi Ka6t€L<;, elre rw ovtl irapa twv eirKJKoirwv 
\a(3o)v rrjv eTrtcTToXrjv eVeyLfv/ra?, e)(^et.<; ra? airoKpi- 
aei^. ae ^ Se ciWa ^ et/co? ^]v ev tw irapovn 
(jypovTL^etv, dSe\cf)6v re ovra Kal firjirw tt]<^ (f)V(Teo)<; 
€7n\e\7](T/jLevov, /irjEe ev e')(6 pov fjLoipa rjfJLd^; opwvra, 
eTrecSr] ei? filov TrapijXOofiev avvrpi^ovra fxev 
rjficov TO crcjfxa, KaKovvra he Kal ttjv ylrv)(^riv tw 
virep/BalveLv tt]v y/jLerepav hvvap,Lv. dXX opLW^, 
€7r€cSr] ouTO)? eKireTToXepLcocraL, tovtov eveKev 
irapelval ae ^ Sec ^ vvv Kal KOLvcovelv rcov irpayixd- 
Toav. 'AScX^ol 'ydp, (pyalv, ev dvdyKaL<; ecrrcoaav ^ 
Xpr/o'tp^OL. 

Et Se Tw OVTL (rvvTV^iav r^fxeTepav KaTahe^ovTai 
ol alSeaificoTaTot, eirlaKOiTOi, Kal tottov rjfilv 
wpiafxevov Kal Kaipov yvcopicrdTcoa'av, Kal 8i^ ISlcov 
r)/id<^ dvOpcoTTcov pLeTaaTeiXdaOooaav. oiairep ydp 
irpo'^ TO diravTrjaai avTO^ wpo^ tov e/juzvTov Oelov 
ovK dira^LO), ovtco<; edv fjLrj [xeTa tov irpeirovTO'^ 
a"X7]fj,aT0(; rj KXrj(7L<; yevijTai, ovk dve^o/nac. 

^ Trelpau C, D. ^ (Tov E. 

3 Kal add. C, D. * o-e om. C, D, E. 

^ 8e7 Capps ; ^Se: MSS. ^ ffoi add. E, F 



360 



LETTER L\'III 

suitable answer. Therefore, whether you were set- 
ting a trap for me each time you sent tlie letter, or 
whether you actually received it from a bishop, you 
liave my answer. But as for you, you ought to be 
considerate of me on general princi})les at the 
present moment — since you are my brother, and 
cannot have forgotten the ties of nature, to say 
nothing of regarding me in the light of an enemy — 
now that we have come into a life that is not only 
wearing out our body, but is even ruining our soul as 
well, so far does it exceed our strength. Yet, in 
spite of all, now that you have been set at w arfare 
with me in this manner, you ought for this very 
reason to be at my side now, and share my troubles. 
For it is said, " Brethren are a help in the time of 
trouble." ^ 

If the right reverend bishops will in truth agree 
to a conference with us, let them designate a definite 
time and place, and let them summon us through 
their own agents. For, while I do not refuse to 
meet my own uncle, yet, unless the invitation is 
extended with due formality, I shall not submit. 

^ Ecclesiastes 40. 24. 



361 



CORRIGENDA 

page 21, line 12, /o?- " effect"' read " affect." 

51, ,, 30, /or " conception "' ?Y«c? " understanding. 

67, ,, 13, /or "if' read "he/' 

73, ,, 6, for "upon"' read "in." 

75, line 11, /or "perceptible" read "intellectual." 

103, last line, insert "you" after "beg." 

109, line 21, for " receive " read. " enjoy." 

131, last line, /or "conduct" read "conduce." 

137, line '^j for "unbidden" read "forbidden." 

153, ,, 28, cZe^e/e comma a//!er " composed. " 

207, ,, 12, /or " produced" read "comprehended.' 



362 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



ABEL, 2S7 

Abraham, 263 

Aburgius, a lay compatriot of Basil's, 

185 
Acacian council of Constantinople, 98 

note, 325 note 
Achelous, the river, 111 note 
Acts of the Apostles, 67 
Adamantius, 359 
Adrianople, 98 note 
Aegean Sea, 108 note 
Aeschylus, 108 note 
Actios, XXX 

Alcmaeon, 111 and note 
Alexander, the Great, 149 
Alexander, successors of, 99 
Alexandria, 5 ; School of, 94 note 
Ambrose, St., xxriii 
Amphipolis, 109, 108 note 
Ancyra, church of, 171, 177, 337 note 
Annesi, xxflf., 27 
Anomoeans, xxx ff. 
Anthimus, 359 
Antony, St., Life of, xix 
Antioch, xrii, 315, 355 note 
Antioch, Synod of, xxix 
Antiochene Creed, xxix, 331 note 
Arcadius, Bishop, 317 
Arcadius, imperial treasurer, 113 
Arianism, xxiv, xxt ff. 
Arianzus, xx 
Ariminum, city of, xxiv, 98 note, 321 

note 
Aristophanes, comic poet, 21 note, 

227 note 
Aristotle, xxvii, 53 note, 95 note 
Arius, xxvi ff. 
Asia, 5 

Asia Minor, xxxviii 
Astaroth, 59 
Asterius, servant, 359 



Astydamas, a playwright of Athens 

and a by-word for self-praise, 228 

note, 229 
Athanasius,St.,the Great, xv, xxvi ff., 

149 
Athanasius, father of Athanasius, 

Bishop of Ancyra, 145, 171 note, 

226 note 
Athens, University of, xvii ff. 
Attic Greek, 125 
Atticism, xviii 
Aurelian, the pagan, 331 

Baalim, 59 

Baldad, the Suhite, 203 
Basil, St., the Great, xv ff., 'passim 
Benedict, St., xxi, xxiii 
Benedictine editors, texts, xliii 
Bethsabee, 21 note 
Bithj-nia, xxvii 

Bosporius, Bishop of Colonia in 
Cappadocia Secunda, 321, 327, 329 

Cajesarea, of Cappadocia, xvi, xxxii, 

233, 355 note 
Caesarea, of Palestine, xvi note 
Caesareans, an apology to, 47 
Caesarius, brother of Gregory Xazian- 

zenus, 155, 181 ff. 
Candidianus, governor of Cappadocia, 

25 
Canonicae, 327 and note 
Cappadocia, xvff. ; clergy of, xxxiii; 

Catholics of, xxxiii 
Cappadocia Secunda, new province 

of, xxxiii, 321 note 
Cappadocians, 187, 315 
Caproles, city of, 49 note 
Carbala, city of, 49 note 
Carmel, Mt., 261 
Cenobium, xxii, 46 note 



363 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



Chalcedon, Svnod of, 197 note 
Chilo, Basil's pupil, 241 
Chorepiscopi, 337 and note, 343 
Cilicians, 41, 187, 315 note 
Cleanthes, a philosopher, 31 and note 
Cleobulus, one of the Seren Sages, 93 

note 
Coele Syria, xs 
Colonia, 321 note 
Constance, the emperor, xxx 
Oonstanttne, the Emperor, xxrii, 230 

note, 233, 237 note, 346 note 
Constantinian, 347 note 
Constantinople, the famous schools of, 

xriiff., xsxi, 325, 327 
Constantinople, Synod of, 325 note 
Constantius, xxiv 
Cornelius, 343 note 
Cretans, 315 note 
Cyprian, St., 94 note, 239 note 

Damasus, Bishop of Rome, 319 note 

Daniel, 263, 305 

Danube, 231 

Darius, 233 

Darid, 17, 21, 57, 85, 245 

Demophilos, 315 and note 

Demosthenes, 27 

Devil, 83 and note 

Dianius, the Archbishop, xxiv, 321 

note, 323, 325, 32 7 
Diogenes, the philosopher, 31, 99 
Diogenes Laertius, 93 note 
Diomedes, 102 
Dionysius, 101 
Dionvsius of Alexandria, 94 note, 

95' 
DionysiiLs of Eome, 96 note 
Divine Dispensation, 60 note 

EcHiyAJJES, 111 and note 

Ectunenical Council, the First, xxrii 

Egypt, xs, xxxii, 5 

Elias, 261 

EUseus, 245 

EMra, Coimcil of, 349 note 

Emmelia, St., xvi ff., 175 note 

Empire of Rome, xxxvi, 233 

Epicurus, 99 note 

Erinnys, 111 note 

Esdras, 261 

Eudoxias, 315 note 

Eunomius, 115, 124 note, 125 

Euripides, 99 note 

Eusebian party, xxviiifif., xxx ff. 



Eusebius, of Caesarea, xxiv, xxxii, 310 

note 
Eusebius, of Xicomedia, xxriii flE. 
Eusebius, of Samosata, 157, 175, 177, 

187, 310 note, 315 
Eustathias, deacon, 313 and note 
Eustathius, the philosopher, xix, 2 
Ezechiel, 245 

FABros, of Antioch, 343 note 
Fourth Sirmium Creed, xxxi 

Gel^-ere, city of, 49 note 

George, Bishop of Laodicea, 325 and 

note 
Giezi, 245 
Gilead, 303 

Gregory, the Elder, 179 note, 311 note 
Gregory ]^azianzentis, xviiiff., xxiv, 

xxxii ff., 7 and note, 45, 107, 121, 

311, 357 
Gregory of Xyssa, xviff., 197, 258 

note, 357 and note 
Gregory Thaumaturgus, xv, 163 

Hades, 305 

Hafsa, 98 note 

Hellespont, 3 

Heracles, successor to Origen as head 

of the Alexandrian school, 94 note 
Herodias, 2S7 
Herodotus, 108 note 
Hesiod, lu8 note 
Himerius, of Bithynia, pagan teacher 

at Athens, xviii 
Holy Spirit, xxv ff., 47 ff., 197 ff. 
Homer, 109 
Homoean, 325 note 
HomoioiLsion, xxv ff., passim 
Homoousion, xxv ff., 329 
Horace, 99 note 
Hosias, the venerable, wx 
Hypatius, 177 and note 
Hypostasis, xxvii ff., 197 ff., 333 

IBORA, on the Iris opposite Annesi, 

XX 

Indians, 233 
Indiction, 347 and note 
Innocentius, Bishop, 319 
Iris, the river, xx ff. 
Isaac, 263 
Isaias, 263 
Isaurians, 187 
Israel, 59, 263, 293 



364 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



Ister, 231 note 

JA(X)B, 261, 263 

Jeremias, lamentations of, 263, 285, 

293, 3ul 
Jerome, St., xxxi 
Jerusalem, 277 
Job, 17, 37, 201 
John, 119 

John the Baptist, 287 
John, St., Chrysostom, 33 note, 319 

note 
Joseph, storv of, 15, 263 
Judas, 245, 247, 341 
Julian, the good, 127 
Julian, Emperor and Apostate, xviii ff ., 

226, 231, 235 
Justin Martyr, 139 note, 191 note 

Kalypso'S isle, 109 

LaodiCEA, 325 note, 342 note 

Lausus, the tribune, 239 

Leontius, the sophist, 123, 126 note, 

127, 189 
Libanius, the rhetorician, xvii 
Lucian, the sophist, 31 note, 93 note 
Lucifer, 2G9 

MACARIUS, 119 
Maccabees, 43 
Macedonia, 108 note 
Macedonianism, xxvi • 

Macedonius, xxri 
Macrina, St., xv fE., xx ff, 
Magnetius, xxx 
Mambre, oak of, 261 
Maximus, the philosopher, 93 
Meletius, Bishop of Antioch, 355 
Mesopotamia, xx 
Monasticism, xxi ff. 
Moses, 17, 161, 245 
Musonius, Bishop of Xeocaesarea, 15S 
note 

Nathax, 21 note 

Nazarite, 269 

Nectarius, probably Bishop of Con- 
stantinople, 33 ; wife of, 39 

Neocaesarea, xx ff.; church of, 159, 
177, 337 note 

Nica, 98 note 

Nicaea, Council of, xxs-ii, 327, 329, 347 

Nicobulus, a friend of Gregory 
Nazianzenus, xxxriii note 



Xyssa, Indian, 5 

ODYSSEUS, 3 

Olives, Mount of, 261 

Olympiads, 347 note 

Olympius, 29, 103 note, 105 

Orient, and monasticism, xxi ff., xxrvii 

Origen, 94 note 

Origen, lavman, 117 

Osee, 293 

Ousia, xxvii ff., 197 ff. 

Ovid, 99 note 

PALESTiyE, 259 note 

Paregorius, the presbyter, 347 

Patripassianism, 95 note 

Paul, St., letters of, xxviiiff., 57, 59, 

85, 211, 243, 293 
Paul of Samosata, 331 and note 
Pereamiiis, layman, 351 and note 
Persia, 5, 233 
Peter, youngest brother of Basil, 

Bishop of Sebaste, 197 note 
Pheidias, the sculptor, 93 note 
Philemon, poet of Xew Comedy, 229 

note 
Philippolis, citT of, xxix 
Philistine, 51 
Phinehas, 285 

Plato, 27, 227 note, 228 note 
Pliny the Younger, the letters of, 

xxxriii 
Plutarch, 27 note, 39 note, 99 note, 

126 note, 148 note 
Pontus, xvi, 107 ff. 
Presias Lake, 109 note 
Procopius, 1 78 note 
Prohaeresitis, Christian teacher at 

Athens, xviii 
Punjab, 4 note 
Pythagoreans, 127 and note 

REPUBLIC of Rome, xxxvi 
Rimini, city of, xxxi 
Rome, xvii, xxxvi 
Rufinus, 91 note, 275 

Sabelliaxism, 95 note 

Sabellius, 95 and note 

Sagadares, 231 

Samosata, 157 note 

Saporis, a descendant of Darius, 233 

Saracenes, 233 

Sardica, city of, xxix 

Sardica, Synod of, xxix 



365 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



Scomius, Mt., 108 note 

Scriptures, divinelv-inspired, 15, 51, 

57, 61,251, 269 ' 
Second Sirmium Creed, xrx fE. 
Seleucia, city of, xxxl, 325 note 
Semi-arians, xxx fE. 
Seneca, L. Annaeus, 31 note 
Silvanus, Metropolitan of Tarsus, 187 

note 
Sion, 269, 293 
Sirens' songs, 5 

Socrates, the historian, xvii, 98 note 
Socrates, the philosopher, 21 note 
Solomon, the wise, 77, 91, 225 note, 

245, 323 
Sophar, the Xaamathite, 203 
Sophistic (Second), xvii, xxxrii 
Sophocles, 4 note, 92 note 
Sophronius, xix, 179 and note 
Sozomenus, xrii, 239 note 
Spari:ans, 2 7 note 
Strabo, 109 note 
Strrmon, the rirer, 109 
Strymonicas Sinus, 108 note 
Subordinationism, heresy of, xrvi 
Snidas, 229 note 
Synesius, 31 note 
Syria, xxsiii, 5 



Syrians, 187 

TAJsTALUS, 7 

Tarsus, city of, 41 note, 187 

Terentius, xviii 

Thaumaturgus, see Gregory Thauma- 

Turgus 
Theodoretus, 98 note, 157 note 
Theophrastus, Deacon, 356 note, 357 
Thucydides, 109 note 
Tiberina, district of, sx, 110 note, 

111 
Timotheus, 149 
Trinity, the, xxri fE,, 47 ff., 197 fE., 

226 note 
Tritheists, 53 
Tyana, city of, yxxiii, 359 note 

URIAS, 21 note, 245 

YALF.ys, the emperor, xxv, xxs, 178 

note 
Valerian, 96 note 
Valerius Maximus, 31 note 

Xystus, 96 note 

Zeno, the philosopher, 31 



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